Effects of forest management on the diversity of deadwood-inhabiting fungi in Central European forests

Blaser, Stefan; Prati, Daniel; Senn-Irlet, Beatrice; Fischer, Markus (2013). Effects of forest management on the diversity of deadwood-inhabiting fungi in Central European forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 304, pp. 42-48. Elsevier 10.1016/j.foreco.2013.04.043

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Land use and land use change affect deadwood amount, quality and associated biodiversity in forest ecosystems. Old growth or virgin forests, which are exceptionally rare in temperate Europe harbor more deadwood and associated fungal species than managed forests. Whether and how more recent abandonment of management, to reestablish more natural forests, affects deadwood amount and fungal diversity on deadwood is unknown. Our main aim was to compare deadwood amount, characteristics and deadwood inhabiting fungi in differently managed forest types typical for large areas of Central Europe. We sampled deadwood inhabiting fungi on 27 forest plots of 400 m2 each in three geographically distant regions in Germany. Three forest management types, namely managed coniferous, managed deciduous and unmanaged deciduous forests, were represented by nine plots each. In autumn 2008 we collected all fungal fruiting bodies on deadwood >7 cm of diameter. We found deadwood amounts and fungal species numbers in unmanaged forests to be lower than in managed forests, which we attributed to the lack of natural tree death during the short time since management abandonment of usually 10–30 years. However, rarefaction analysis among deadwood items in forest plots indicated a slightly higher species density in unmanaged forests, which may be the first signal of a positive effect on fungal species richness on deadwood after management was abandoned. Although the three study regions span a large geographical gradient, we did not detect differences in the fungal species composition or in deadwood amounts and patterns, which reflects the wide distribution of this group of organisms and points to consistent management procedures among study regions. A very clear composition difference however occurred between deciduous and coniferous wood showing species substrate specialization. We conclude that the amount of deadwood is the main driver of deadwood fungal species richness, and substrate diversity in terms of various decay degrees, deadwood tree species and deadwood size are also important. Thus, to promote species richness of deadwood fungi it is vital to enhance deadwood amounts and diversity

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Blaser, Stefan, Prati, Daniel, Fischer, Markus


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)








Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

06 Dec 2013 14:56

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:26

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Saproxylic fungi, Temperate forests, Land use, Coarse woody debris, Human impact





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