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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2008

  • Title: Effects of Distance and Removal Treatment on Polypore Fungi in Hemlock Removal Plots
  • Primary Author: Primrose Boynton (Harvard)
  • Additional Authors: Audrey Barker Plotkin (Harvard Forest); Aaron Ellison (Independent); Anne Pringle (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
  • Abstract:

    Polypore fungi are a diverse group of basidiomycete fungi that degrade wood and produce hard, persistent fruit bodies. In the past, researchers have shown a variety of competitive interactions in this group of fungi, implying that competition and environmental factors are important shapers of polypore community assemblage. However, because they form elaborate fruit bodies, dispersal ability may be an important trait for these fungi. Generallly, dispersal limitation and environmental forces both shape community assembly, and the goal of this project is to determine how important each factor is to polypore community assembly.

    We will study the polypore assemblage in the Harvard Forest Hemlock Removal Experiment, which includes forests that have undergone two treatments (girdled and commercially logged Hemlock trees) and two control forests (Hemlock control and hardwood control). Because replicates of the girdled, logged, and Hemlock control sites are located in two sites 500m from each other, this is an appropriate system for studying distance effects (as a proxy for dispersal limitation) in Hemlock-associated fungi. Over the course of two weeks this summer, we will determine polypore species representation in each of four previously demarcated 15m by 15m subplots in each plot by identifying fruiting bodies. We will also establish transects through each plot and sample decayed wood along each transect for basidiomycete DNA in an effort to represent nonfruiting wood-inhabiting fungi. At the end of the summer, these data will be examined for correlations between species assemblage, treatment, and site. Preliminary data from fruiting bodies identified in the summer of 2007 implies that species assemblage groups according to treatment much more strongly than it does according to site.

  • Research Category: Biodiversity Studies