Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project 6065002 and 6067002

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Diversity of ectomycorrhizae on planted seedlings in variable retention forestry sites: results of mushroom survey

Author(s): Outerbridge, Renata; Trofymow, John Antonio
Imprint: Victoria, B.C. : Pacific Forestry Centre, 2003
Subject: Variable retention harvesting, Forest Investment Account (FIA), Ectomycorrhiza
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program


Unlike vascular plants, macrofungi of British Columbia are little known and documented in literature. In 1976, Bandoni and Szczawinski published the second edition of their concise pictorial guidebook to BC mushrooms. Gamiet and Berch, (1992) provide a species list from an old growth forest in Vancouver area. Countess (2001) investigated the impact of clear-cutting and forest age on macrofungi in old-growth and post-harvest chronosequences of Douglas-fir dominated in Shawnigan Lake District. Goodman (1995) and Goodman and Trofymow (1998) had previously used the same Douglas-fir stands as Countess (2001) to study distribution of ectomycorrhizal morphotypes. Outerbridge (2002) analyzed diversity and abundance of ectomycorrhizal and saprobic mushrooms in 35 year old monocultures of four conifer species on south Vancouver Island. Redhead (1997) estimated that there may be as many as 2500 species in the group of fleshy mushrooms (i.e. agarics, boleti, chanterelles) in the province and lists all the recorded reports. These amount to circa 500 species, a fraction of the potentially occurring diversity. The purpose of this study was to survey sporocarps of macrofungi in Variable Retention (VR) forestry sites on south-eastern Vancouver Island. The survey was proposed in conjunction with the study on ectomycorrhizal abundance and diversity in operationally planted seedlings in VR sites (Outerbridge et al., 2001), as part of Weyerhaeuser Coastal BC Project – Silviculture Monitoring (Beese, 2001). Generally, information on the presence of sporocarps is desirable whenever studying ectomycorrhizae in a forest ecosystem. Linking a sporocarp (the sexual structure) to its underground vegetative growth, the ectomycorrhizae, is an essential step in fungal taxonomy (Goodman et al, 1996). Mushrooms spread through an area via underground hyphal growth, or by animal aided dispersal, but most efficiently, via spore dissemination. The intent in initiating this survey was to facilitate the process of ectomycorrhizal species identification in our research on ectomycorrhizal diversity on the out-planted Douglas-fir seedlings, working on the assumption that the forest patch is a reservoir of the fungi found on their roots. Some species (‘morphotypes’) from the pilot study are still unidentified and more are expected to emerge from the follow-up experimental study. By including saprophytic macrofungi in the survey we also hoped to give the data set merits of its own, independent of the ectomycorrhizae project. Provided the survey is repeated in subsequent year(s), the fungi can be looked at as another indicator group, for testing the effects of variable retention on biodiversity on these sites.

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Updated August 02, 2006 

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