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Similar biodiversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi in set-aside plantations and ancient old-growth broadleaved forests

Similar biodiversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi in set-aside plantations and ancient old-growth broadleaved forests
Similar biodiversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi in set-aside plantations and ancient old-growth broadleaved forests
Setting aside overmature planted forests is currently seen as an option for preserving species associated with old-growth forests, such as those with dispersal limitation. Few data exist, however, on the utility of set-aside plantations for this purpose, or the value of this habitat type for biodiversity relative to old-growth semi-natural ecosystems. Here, we evaluate the contribution of forest type relative to habitat characteristics in determining species richness and composition in seven forest blocks, each containing an ancient old-growth stand (> 1000 yrs) paired with a set-aside even-aged planted stand (ca. 180 yrs). We investigated the functionally important yet relatively neglected ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF), a group for which the importance of forest age has not been assessed in broadleaved forests. We found that forest type was not an important determinant of EMF species richness or composition, demonstrating that set-aside can be an effective option for conserving ancient EMF communities. Species richness of above-ground EMF fruiting bodies was principally related to the basal area of the stand (a correlate of canopy cover) and tree species diversity, whilst richness of below-ground ectomycorrhizae was driven only by tree diversity. Our results suggest that overmature planted forest stands, particularly those that are mixed-woods with high basal area, are an effective means to connect and expand ecological networks of ancient old-growth forests in historically deforested and fragmented landscapes for ectomycorrhizal fungi.
0006-3207
71-79
Spake, Rebecca
1cda8ad0-2ab2-45d9-a844-ec3d8be2786a
van der Linde, Sietse
6e65df8d-1114-4973-9765-45ab2e4e0ae0
Newton, Adrian C.
33e105a6-2f1d-40e6-a7b2-05fd84a99137
Suz, Laura M.
bff049d5-de9c-4062-984c-6ce68ff104ce
Bidartondo, Martin I.
4deb2801-cb72-4559-a5c6-a633b5254629
Doncaster, C. Patrick
0eff2f42-fa0a-4e35-b6ac-475ad3482047
Spake, Rebecca
1cda8ad0-2ab2-45d9-a844-ec3d8be2786a
van der Linde, Sietse
6e65df8d-1114-4973-9765-45ab2e4e0ae0
Newton, Adrian C.
33e105a6-2f1d-40e6-a7b2-05fd84a99137
Suz, Laura M.
bff049d5-de9c-4062-984c-6ce68ff104ce
Bidartondo, Martin I.
4deb2801-cb72-4559-a5c6-a633b5254629
Doncaster, C. Patrick
0eff2f42-fa0a-4e35-b6ac-475ad3482047

Spake, Rebecca, van der Linde, Sietse, Newton, Adrian C., Suz, Laura M., Bidartondo, Martin I. and Doncaster, C. Patrick (2016) Similar biodiversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi in set-aside plantations and ancient old-growth broadleaved forests. Biological Conservation, 194, 71-79. (doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2015.12.003).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Setting aside overmature planted forests is currently seen as an option for preserving species associated with old-growth forests, such as those with dispersal limitation. Few data exist, however, on the utility of set-aside plantations for this purpose, or the value of this habitat type for biodiversity relative to old-growth semi-natural ecosystems. Here, we evaluate the contribution of forest type relative to habitat characteristics in determining species richness and composition in seven forest blocks, each containing an ancient old-growth stand (> 1000 yrs) paired with a set-aside even-aged planted stand (ca. 180 yrs). We investigated the functionally important yet relatively neglected ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF), a group for which the importance of forest age has not been assessed in broadleaved forests. We found that forest type was not an important determinant of EMF species richness or composition, demonstrating that set-aside can be an effective option for conserving ancient EMF communities. Species richness of above-ground EMF fruiting bodies was principally related to the basal area of the stand (a correlate of canopy cover) and tree species diversity, whilst richness of below-ground ectomycorrhizae was driven only by tree diversity. Our results suggest that overmature planted forest stands, particularly those that are mixed-woods with high basal area, are an effective means to connect and expand ecological networks of ancient old-growth forests in historically deforested and fragmented landscapes for ectomycorrhizal fungi.

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Spake et al 2016 Biol Conserv ~ Biodiversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi.pdf - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 6 October 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 December 2015
Published date: February 2016
Organisations: Environmental

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 391400
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/391400
ISSN: 0006-3207
PURE UUID: 2e0ea2f2-bcc9-4862-bb0f-14aa917cce1e
ORCID for C. Patrick Doncaster: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9406-0693

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Date deposited: 12 Apr 2016 10:45
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:59

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Contributors

Author: Rebecca Spake
Author: Sietse van der Linde
Author: Adrian C. Newton
Author: Laura M. Suz
Author: Martin I. Bidartondo

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