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Macrofungal diversity and ecology in four Irish forest types

O'Hanlon, R., and T.J. Harrington. 2012. Fungal Ecology 5:499-508


The macrofungal communities of Irish native tree species (ash and oak) and exotic tree species (Scots pine and Sitka spruce) forests were examined through the collection of sporocarps over 3 yr. Sampling of 27 plots revealed 186 species of macrofungi, including 10 species new to Ireland. The species richness of non-native Sitka spruce and Scots pine forests was similar to that of native oak forests. However, specific communities of macrofungi existed in each of the forest types as confirmed by non-metric multidimensional scaling and multi-response permutation procedure. Indicator species analysis was used to identify macrofungi which are indicative of the four forest types. The oak community lacked certain species/genera known to be distinctive of oak woods in Britain, possibly due to low inoculum availability as a result of historic removal of Ireland's oak forests. Our results indicate that, while being similar to native forests in species richness, non-native forests of Sitka spruce and Scots pine in Ireland harbour many fungal species which are not typical of native forests, particularly members of the genus Cortinarius.

Key Words

Ash; community; host specificity; indicator species; Oak; Scots pine; Sitka spruce