The methodologies used for studying macrofungal communities are an eclectic assemblage of many different and unstandardized approaches. In this study we propose a simple, nondestructive but still informative method to assess fungal sporocarp biomass in forested areas. We use the number of fruiting bodies found in the surveyed plot, and data on cap diameter of the species from the literature to calculate a cap area index. We show that this index very strongly correlates with the measured total dry mass of the species obtained from the same plot. We point out that the cap area index provides a more accurate estimation of the epigeous fungal sporocarp biomass than do the species sporocarp numbers. This new methodology allows the spatiotemporal distribution of a fungal community in an ecosystem to be followed. Since sporocarp production responds much more sensitively to environmental changes than does the fine-root vegetative ectomycorrhizal community, it may more quickly reflect whether an ecosystem has been perturbed. It will also allow us to collect data on saprotrophic species. A sporocarp survey can be useful for detecting early changes in the habitat and environment, and give an easily applicable method for conservation biology and ecosystem management.
|Translated title of the contribution||A simple method to assess macrofungal sporocarp biomass for investigating ecological change|
|Pages (from-to)||652 - 658|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Botany|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2007|