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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2009

  • Title: Polypore diversity in hemlock removal plots
  • Primary Author: Primrose Boynton (Harvard)
  • Additional Authors: Aaron Ellison (Independent); Anne Pringle (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
  • Abstract:

    Although fungi drive woody tissue decomposition in hemlock and hardwood forests, their diversity is often overlooked during conservation efforts. Polypores are important fungal members of these forest communities. In this survey, fruiting polypore diversity was examined in each of Harvard Forest's hemlock removal plots to investigate the effects of logging, girdling, and forest composition on the polypore community. In the central portion of each plot, presences and absences of all visible nonfleshy nonresupinate polypore and crust fungi fruiting bodies were noted and identified in the summers of 2007 and 2008. As expected, many fungi occurred in all plots and treatments (logged hemlock, girdled hemlock, hemlock control, and hardwood control), and many fungi were restricted to only one, or several but not all treatments. There was a notably high diversity of polypores exclusively observed in logged hemlock plots, probably due to a combination of newly available fine woody debris and a change in environmental conditions that promoted polypore fruiting. These results imply that local environmental conditions, especially those accompanying environmental changes like Hemlock removal, impact polypore communities.

  • Research Category: Biodiversity Studies, Conservation and Management, Large Experiments and Permanent Plot Studies