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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Life after tree death: Does restored dead wood host different fungal communities to natural woody substrates?

Pasanen, Hannes; Junninen, Kaisa; Boberg, Johanna; Tatsumi, Shinichi; Stenlid, Jan; Kouki, Jan


In Europe, enhancing the amount of dead wood, and thereby promoting habitats for saproxylic species, is one of the most commonly applied restorative treatments in intensively managed forests. This study examines whether the different tree-level treatments utilized to increase the amount of dead wood (girdling, chainsaw felling, and uprooting) have an effect on the wood-inhabiting fungi in the logs of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). We also investigate whether the structure (diversity and composition) of these communities differ from those that occur in pine wood substrates that have been uprooted naturally. The study was conducted within currently protected forests that have been previously managed for timber production. Both fungal DNA (for sequence-based identification) and the presence of sporocarps of polypore fungi were surveyed from the logs. Based on the results, greater number of species were associated with the girdled logs compared to the other types of dead wood. The method of felling the trees (uprooting vs. chainsaw-felling) also resulted in differences in community composition, but this mainly concerned the sporocarp occurrence of polypore fungi. Fungal communities on naturally uprooted dead wood had more variation to the restored logs. Overall, our results suggest that restoration of dead wood can provide substrates for many fungi, including Red Listed polypores, and successfully contribute to achieving some of the restoration targets. However, to capture most of the variation in natural fungal communities, several methods should be used together when artificially increasing the amount of dead wood in forest ecosystems.


Boreal forest; Wood-inhabiting fungi; Forest restoration; Fungal diversity; Scots pine

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2018, Volume: 409, pages: 863-871