Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 33–49 | Cite as

Diversity of wood-decaying fungi under different disturbance regimes—a case study from spruce mountain forests

  • Claus Bässler
  • Jörg Müller
  • Miroslav Svoboda
  • Anna Lepšová
  • Christoph Hahn
  • Heinrich Holzer
  • Václav Pouska
Original Paper


Rapid destruction of forest habitats has led to the establishment of protected areas in formerly managed forests with the aim of restoring biodiversity. Conservation in spruce-dominated reserves is often contradicted by salvage logging after insect outbreaks. Here we study the community characteristics of wood decaying fungi in a high montane Norway Spruce forest with three different management types: (1) a formerly managed area disturbed by a large-scale bark beetle outbreak, (2) an area with continuous salvage logging, and (3) an old-growth forest. Bark beetle activity in the disturbed area resulted in downed wood amounts comparable to those of the old-growth forest. However, species accumulation curves for the disturbed forest were more similar to those of the logged forest than to those of the old-growth forest. This arose because of differences in the diversity of wood decay classes; wood decay in the disturbed forest was more homogeneous. Logs in the disturbed forest originated almost exclusively from bark-beetle-infested trees, but the causes of tree mortality in the old-growth forest were manifold. Although most red-listed species were clearly confined to old-growth forest, Antrodiella citrinella was most abundant in the disturbed forest. Our analysis furthermore showed that the between stand scale is the most effective unit for diversity wood-decaying fungi. We therefore suggest a conservation strategy for preserving old-growth forests and establishing protected forest stands to enhance structural heterogeneity in spruce-dominated forests. For this, a careful screening of protected areas throughout Europe is necessary to provide managers with guidelines for conservation.


Wood-decaying fungi Low mountain range Old-growth forests Bark beetle Generalized linear models Additive partitioning 



This research was supported by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection and by the National Agency for Agriculture Research (QI102A085). We thank Harald Ostrow and Frank Dämmrich for identifying corticoid fungi. We thank Karen A. Brune for linguistic revision of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claus Bässler
    • 1
  • Jörg Müller
    • 1
  • Miroslav Svoboda
    • 2
  • Anna Lepšová
    • 3
  • Christoph Hahn
    • 4
  • Heinrich Holzer
    • 4
  • Václav Pouska
    • 5
  1. 1.Bavarian Forest National ParkGrafenauGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Forestry and Wood SciencesCzech University of Life Sciences in PraguePrahaCzech Republic
  3. 3.Trhové SvinyCzech Republic
  4. 4.Bavarian Mycological SocietyTutzingGermany
  5. 5.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic

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