Ecological Research

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 959–966 | Cite as

Beech log decomposition by wood-inhabiting fungi in a cool temperate forest floor: a quantitative analysis focused on the decay activity of a dominant basidiomycete Omphalotus guepiniformis

  • Yu Fukasawa
  • Takashi Osono
  • Hiroshi Takeda
Original Article


Wood decay activity of Omphalotus guepiniformis, one of the most frequently occurring fruiting bodies on beech coarse woody debris in cool temperate forests in Japan, was estimated in situ by chronosequence with a five decay class system. The decay columns of O. guepiniformis increased from decay class 1 to decay class 2, where they occupied 20.2% of the total area of cross sections, and was estimated to be a dominant basidiomycete. The decay columns of O. guepiniformis decreased after decay class 2 and were not detected in decay class 5. The relative density of the decay columns of O. guepiniformis decreased to 0.33 g cm−3 in decay class 2 (58.9% of fresh beech wood) but did not decrease thereafter. The lignocellulose index (LCI) of the decay columns of O. guepiniformis slightly decreased during the decay process while remaining in the range of white-rot. In contrast, the decay columns of microfungi increased in the later stages of decomposition and LCI of these decay columns decreased significantly alongside the decay process. These results suggest that O. guepiniformis has an important role in simultaneous decomposition of acid-unhydrolyzable residue (AUR, Klason lignin) and holocellulose in the early stages of beech log decomposition, while holocellulose selective decomposition by microfungi may occur in the late stages of decomposition.


Coarse woody debris Decay ability Distribution in wood Fagus crenata White-rot 



We thank Nobu Endo, Osamu Tateno, Hitomi Mizuta, Akihiro Shimizu, Yusuke Hagiwara, and members of Laboratory of Forest Ecology, Kyoto University, for their help in field and laboratory works. Thanks are extended to the staff of Kamigamo Experimental Forest of Kyoto University for technical support. Financial support for this study was provided by the Research Fellowship Division, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.


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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Forest Ecology, Division of Environmental Science and Technology, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Totoro FundTokorozawaJapan

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