Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 2155–2172 | Cite as

Disturbance and diversity of wood-inhabiting fungi: effects of canopy gaps and downed woody debris

  • Nicholas J. Brazee
  • Daniel L. Lindner
  • Anthony W. D’Amato
  • Shawn Fraver
  • Jodi A. Forrester
  • David J. Mladenoff
Original Paper


Experimental canopy gap formation and additions of coarse woody debris (CWD) are techniques intended to mimic the disturbance regime and accelerate the development of northern hardwood forests. The effects of these techniques on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning were investigated by surveying the abundance and diversity of wood-inhabiting fungi in six treatments: (i) unharvested control, (ii) control + fenced to exclude deer, (iii) gap creation + fenced to exclude deer, (iv) gap creation, (v) gap creation + CWD addition, and (vi) CWD addition under closed-canopy. A total of 1,885 fungal occurrences (polyporoid and corticoid fruiting bodies) representing 130 species were recorded on 11 tree species, with eight fungal species accounting for 52 % of all observations. A linear mixed model demonstrated significant differences in the abundance and diversity of wood-inhabiting fungi by treatment, with the gap creation + CWD addition treatment supporting the highest abundance and richness of fungal species. Non-metric multidimensional scaling demonstrated that stumps, sugar maple substrates, medium (20 to <25 cm) and large-diameter (>40 cm) substrates most strongly influenced fungal species occurrences. Rarefaction curves indicated that smaller diameter substrates (<20 cm) supported a rich fungal community, yet substrates in the largest diameter class (>40 cm) supported nearly 25 % of all fungal species detected. Rarefaction curves also highlighted the importance of well-decayed substrates and minor host tree species. A subset of fungal species was significantly more abundant in gap treatments. The results indicate that wood-inhabiting fungi are responsive to forest management intended to promote the structural attributes of old-growth northern hardwood forests.


Biodiversity Decay fungi Gap-phase Northern hardwoods Sugar maple Restoration 



We thank Amy Milo and Tera Galante for assistance with field sampling, Beatriz Ortiz-Santana for archival of collected fungal specimens and two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments on a previous version of this manuscript. This study was supported by the USDA/DOE Biomass Research and Development Initiative (#2009-10006-05948), the Minnesota Forest Resources Council, and the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station. This work was also supported by the Managed Ecosystems Program of the National Research Initiative of the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (#206-55101-17060), Wisconsin DNR Division of Forestry and the Wisconsin DNR Bureau of Integrated Science Services, Pittman-Robertson Funds.

Supplementary material

10531_2014_710_MOESM1_ESM.docx (54 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 48 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (out side the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas J. Brazee
    • 1
  • Daniel L. Lindner
    • 2
  • Anthony W. D’Amato
    • 3
  • Shawn Fraver
    • 4
  • Jodi A. Forrester
    • 5
  • David J. Mladenoff
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for AgricultureUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  2. 2.USDA Forest Service, Northern Research StationCenter for Forest Mycology ResearchMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Forest ResourcesUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  4. 4.School of Forest ResourcesUniversity of MaineOronoUSA
  5. 5.Department of Forest and Wildlife EcologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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