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

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Title: Similar biodiversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi in set-aside plantations and ancient old-growth broadleaved forests
Authors: Spake, R
Van der Linde, S
Newton, AC
Suz, LM
Bidartondo, MI
Doncaster, CP
Item Type: Journal 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.
Issue Date: 18-Dec-2015
Date of Acceptance: 3-Dec-2015
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/40525
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2015.12.003
ISSN: 1873-2917
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 71
End Page: 79
Journal / Book Title: Biological Conservation
Volume: 194
Copyright Statement: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/K006339/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Biodiversity Conservation
Ecology
Environmental Sciences
Biodiversity & Conservation
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Ectomycorrhizal fungi
Oak
Old-growth
Overmature
Planted forest
Set-aside
Species richness
Sporocarp
ECOLOGICAL NETWORKS
COMMUNITY STRUCTURE
SPECIES RICHNESS
MODEL SELECTION
GLOBAL PATTERNS
CLIMATE-CHANGE
DOUGLAS-FIR
DIVERSITY
CONSERVATION
BRITISH
05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences



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