Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Review article2023Peer reviewed

Ecosystem services provided by fungi in freshwaters: a wake-up call

Seena, Sahadevan; Baschien, Christiane; Barros, Juliana; Sridhar, Kandikere R.; Graca, Manuel A. S.; Mykra, Heikki; Bundschuh, Mirco

Abstract

The set of functions and resources derived from ecosystems are broadly described as ecosystem services. Human society is gratified by a diverse range of services from the freshwater ecosystems to which fungi contribute significantly; yet they are unacknowledged for the services they provide. Aquatic fungi, especially aquatic hyphomycetes, are a distinct ecological group of organisms, accomplishing critical functions in the freshwater food web dynamics. Here, we conceptualize and categorize ecosystem services provided by aquatic hyphomycetes according to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, specifically (i) regulating services, such as leaf litter decomposition and the self-cleaning capacity of freshwaters; (ii) supporting services, like nutrient cycling and bioindicators of environmental conditions; (iii) provisioning services, notably metabolites and clean water; and ultimately (iv) cultural services, particularly educational and inspirational values. Increased awareness and valuation of the ecosystem services delivered by aquatic hyphomycetes is essential to reinforce freshwater ecosystem management and policymaking. Overall, our perspective will serve as a wake-up call to map, quantify, and valorize the critical ecosystem services offered by these fungi across the globe. We also highlight the need to consider interactions between ecosystem services and a consistent life cycle assessment, i.e., from resource extraction to end-of-life disposal, promoting sustainable use of ecosystems.

Keywords

Biodiversity; Litter decomposition; Conservation; Metabolites; Nutrient cycling; Aquatic hyphomycetes

Published in

Hydrobiologia
2023, Volume: 850, number: 12, pages: 2779-2794 Publisher: SPRINGER

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG6 Clean water and sanitation

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Fish and Aquacultural Science
    Ecology

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-022-05030-4

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/119642