The macrofungal component of biodiversity in Irish Sitka spruce forests.

  • Richard O'Hanlon
  • Thomas J. Harrington
Keywords: Diversity, ectomycorrhiza, decay, mushrooms, fungi.

Abstract

Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis(Bong.) Carr.) is the most commonly planted tree species in Ireland, with future increases in the area of Sitka spruce forests planned. In recent years the biodiversity of Sitka spruce plantations in Ireland has become a topic of much research interest. However, fungal biodiversity has yet to be systematically surveyed in Irish Sitka spruce forests. This study reports on the diversity of macrofungi from nine Sitka spruce plots in five counties surveyed over three years. One hundred and forty four species were discovered in the plots, including three species new (previously unrecorded) to the Republic of Ireland. Over half the species discovered were ectomycorrhizal species, highlighting the generalist nature of Sitka spruce as an ectomycorrhizal host in Western Europe. The 10 most common species are listed; members of the genus Mycena were the most commonly found macrofungi. On a relative sampling basis (species per m2), the biodiversity of macrofungi in Irish Sitka spruce forests is comparable to that found in native Sitka spruce forests in Canada. The ability of Sitka spruce forests in Ireland to support native biodiversity is discussed with reference to studies of other taxonomic groups and recommendations for the promotion of fungal diversity in Irish Sitka spruce forests are made.

Author Biographies

Richard O'Hanlon
Department of Life Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.
Thomas J. Harrington
Department of Life Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.
Published
2011-11-01
How to Cite
O’Hanlon, R., & Harrington, T. J. (2011). The macrofungal component of biodiversity in Irish Sitka spruce forests. Irish Forestry. Retrieved from https://journal.societyofirishforesters.ie/index.php/forestry/article/view/10056
Section
Articles