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Relationships between macro-fungal dark diversity and habitat parameters using LiDAR

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Despite the important role of fungi for ecosystems, relatively little is known about the factors underlying the dynamics of their diversity. Moreover, studies do not typically consider their dark diversity: the species absent from an otherwise suitable site. Here, we examined potential drivers of local fungal dark diversity in temperate woodland and open habitats using LiDAR and in-situ field measurements, combined with a systematically collected and geographically comprehensive macro-fungi and plant data set. For the first time, we also estimated species pools of fungi by considering both plant and fungi co-occurrences. The most important LiDAR variables for explaining fungal dark diversity were amplitude and echo ratio, which represent vegetation structure. These results suggest that the local fungal dark diversity is highest in production forests like plantations and lowest in more open forests and in open habitats with little woody vegetation. Plant species richness was the strongest explanatory factor overall and negatively correlated with local fungal dark diversity. Soil fertility showed a positive relationship with dark diversity in open habitats. These findings indicate that the local dark diversity of macro-fungi is highest in areas with a relatively high human impact (typically areas with low plant species richness and high soil fertility). Overall, this study brings novel insights into local macro-fungi dark diversity patterns, suggesting that a multitude of drivers related to both soil and vegetation act simultaneously to determine fungal dark diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101054
JournalFungal Ecology
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

    Research areas

  • Airborne laser scanning, Bog, Fens, Forests, Fungal diversity, Grasslands, Mycorrhiza, Regional species pool, Remote sensing, Shrublands, Wetlands

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