Succession after Fire of Fungal Fruiting Bodies in Mediterranean Pinus pinaster Stands in Spain

IRG/WP 12-10789

P Vásquez Gassibe, M Hernández-Rodriguez, R Fraile Fabero, J A Oria-De-Rueda, P Martín-Pinto

In this study we present the results of a 4-year survey aimed at describing the succession of fungal communities following fire in a Mediterranean ecosystem in Northwest Spain, dominated by Pinus pinaster Ait. After a large wildfire in 2002, six 2 x 50 m study plots were established in burned and unburned areas corresponding to early and late succession stages. During the autumn seasons from 2003 to 2006, fruiting bodies were collected and identified. We also collected information about dry and fresh weight, the saprotrophic or mycorrhizal status and the edibility of every species. During the four-years sampling, a total of 115 fungal taxa were collected (85 in the late stage and 60 in the early stage) from which only 30 appeared along the whole succession. Mycorrhizal population not only increased the number of species from early to late stage but also shifted in composition. After fire, pyrophytic species such as Pholiota carbonaria, Peziza violacea, Rhizopogon luteolus and Rhizopogon sp. appeared. The effect of fire on fungal fruiting body’s production was opposite depending on the saprotrophic or mycorrhizal status of the species: mycorrhizal decreased 6-fold, while saprotrophic increased 4-fold. Production of edible species was negatively affected by fire, decreasing significantly the potential of rural populations to harvest marketable mushrooms. The provided results can be useful to forest managers for optimization of management and harvest of these increasingly appreciated non-wood resources. Management may also prevent or alleviate stand-replacing wildfire in these Mediterranean forests.

Keywords: fungal community succession, fungal production, fire, Mediterranean ecosystem

Conference: 2012-07-08/13 Estoril, Portugal

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