Diversity, productivity, and mycophagy of hypogeous mycorrhizal fungi in a variably thinned Douglas-fir forest Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qf85nd236

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  • Hypogeous fungi are a critical component of forest ecosystems world wide. In Pacific Northwest forests, they are the base of the food chain of the threatened Northern Spotted Owl. As part of The Forest Ecosystem Study (a interdisciplinary study designed to increase development of suitable spotted owl habitat), diversity and productivity of truffles were studied from March 1993 through December 1996 at approximately six week intervals at the Fort Lewis Military Reservation near Olympia, Washington. Half of the stands served as controls, half were assigned a variable density thinning (VDT) treatment. A VDT stand was comprised of a mosaic of 0.16 ha- patches thinned to different densities of standing live trees. To further examine effect of thinning on sporocarp productivity and diversity, this mosaic was stratified into 2 sub-treatments, lightly thinned and heavily thinned areas. Total standing crop biomass over all seasons was significantly reduced in VDT stands compared to the control stands. However. VDT stands had greater truffle standing crop during two of the three winters sampled. This suggests that, in the short term, thinning could reduce production overall but enhance production of truffles in winter. Species richness and evenness were highest in the lightly thinned areas within the VDT stands and declined sharply in the heavily thinned areas, compared to the control stands. Two novel truffle taxa collected during this study were described. A reliable method to assess dietaries of northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) and Townsend's chipmunk (Tamias townsendii) was developed, and subsequently used to analyze fecal pellets collected from live trapped individuals. Collections from spring 1991 through December 1996 were analyzed to estimate dietary composition. Hypogeous basidiomycetes and ascomycetes dominated chipmunk and flying squirrel dietaries. Plant material was also a dominant component of chipmunk dietaries (both spring and fall) and fall flying squirrel dietaries. Both mammal species consistently found more fungal taxa than mycologists did during the concurrent mycological survey. Thinning did not significantly change the rank order of fungal components in the dietaries of these small mammals.
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