Microbial Ecology

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 399–406 | Cite as

Inhibition and Stimulation Effects in Communities of Wood Decay Fungi: Exudates from Colonized Wood Influence Growth by Other Species

  • J. Heilmann-ClausenEmail author
  • L. Boddy


The effects of exudates from uncolonized and from partly decayed beech wood on the extension rates of 16 later stage decay fungi were investigated. The partly decayed wood had been colonized by the pyrenomycete Eutypa spinosa, or the basidiomycetes Fomes fomentarius, Stereum hirsutum, and Trametes versicolor, all known as common early decay agents in European beech forests. Sterilized wood pieces were placed onto 0.5% malt agar, opposite to small agar plugs containing the test fungi. The latter showed very variable and species-specific growth responses to the various wood types. The presence of uncolonized wood stimulated extension rates in many species, whereas the four previously decayed wood types had variable stimulatory or inhibitory effects. Wood decayed by S. hirsutum resulted in reduced extension rate, delayed growth, or total inhibition in the majority of species, thus it is suggested that this species uses secondary metabolites in a defensive strategy. A single species was, however, stimulated in the presence of S. hirsutum-decayed wood. In contrast, the presence of wood decayed by F. fomentarius was stimulatory to 45% of the species. The other previously decayed wood types generally resulted in more variable responses, depending upon species. The results are discussed in an ecological context and it is suggested that the exudates from the partly decayed wood that are responsible for the reported effects may function as infochemicals, structuring microbial communities in wood.


Extension Rate Spinosa Trametes Versicolor Wood Piece Stereum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Mikako Sasa and Novozymes for providing materials and equipment for isolating the wood inhabiting fungi used in the experiments and the Strødam committee for the permission to collect wood for the experiments. Further, Iben Magrethe Thomsen is thanked for useful comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript. Thanks to Paul Wald for discussion during experimentation. The research was supported by the Danish Research Councils.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Danish Centre for Forest and Landscape ResearchRoyal Veterinary and Agricultural UniversityFrederiksbergDenmark
  2. 2.Cardiff School of BiosciencesCardiff UniversityWalesUK

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