The link between characteristics of fungi & wood decomposition rates
IntroductionFungi and their role in carbon cycling
IntroductionA fungus is not just any fungus
So what are the critical traits of fungi that may affect carbon and nutrient cycling? To name just a few: certain species grow quickly, others slowly. Some are tolerant to stress such as drought or extreme temperatures. Others not. Some grow densely, while others grow long filaments (hyphae). While these traits are being studied, there’s still much we don’t yet know about the wonderful world of fungi.
IntroductionFungi & wood decomposition rates
This study tests the relationship between fungal characteristics and wood decomposition rates. Understanding how decay rates vary between fungi could ultimately enhance the accuracy of terrestrial carbon dynamic forecasts.
ResultsFungal traits & decomposition rate
ResultsAnd the winner of the fungal combat is…
In the end winners and losers are a matter of perspective. While slow growers may not be dominant, they can survive in harsher conditions, ensuring that key nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are recycled into the soils. And although faster decomposition means carbon is released into the atmosphere quicker, it can also increase plant productivity and tree growth by breaking down more quickly dead matter for the production of soil.