Fire-related changes in biomass of hypogeous sporocarps at foraging points used by a tropical mycophagous marsupial

Vernes, Karl, Johnson, Christopher N., and Castellano, Michael A. (2004) Fire-related changes in biomass of hypogeous sporocarps at foraging points used by a tropical mycophagous marsupial. Mycological Research, 108 (12). pp. 1438-1446.

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Abstract

Changes in pre- and post-fire biomass of hypogeous fungal sporocarps remaining at locations where an endangered mycophagous marsupial, the northern bettong (Bettongia tropica), had foraged, were assessed in fire-prone sclerophyll forest in northeastern Australia. Low to medium intensity experimental fires were set during the late dry season in 1995 and 1996 and post-foraging biomass of sporocarps (expressed as biomass of sporocarps remaining at recent B. tropica diggings) was measured at unburnt and burnt sites at approximately six-week intervals for a period of 14 months. Post-foraging biomass was significantly higher at burnt sites immediately following fire compared with control sites, solely due to increased biomass of hypogeous species belonging to the family Mesophelliaceae. Several months after fire, post-foraging biomass was significantly higher on unburnt sites compared with very low biomass on burnt sites. Twelve months after fire, the biomass on burnt and unburnt sites was not significantly different, having returned to biomass observed pre-fire. All evidence points toward mesophellioid fungi being greatly more available to bettongs on recently burnt ground, but fire may make several other sporocarp taxa considerably less available several months following fire.

Item ID: 6936
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-8102
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2010 05:59
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060206 Palaeoecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 8
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