Polypore fungi as a flagship group to indicate changes in biodiversity - a test case from Estonia

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Runnel , K , Miettinen , O & Lohmus , A 2021 , ' Polypore fungi as a flagship group to indicate changes in biodiversity - a test case from Estonia ' , IMA Fungus , vol. 12 , no. 1 , 2 . https://doi.org/10.1186/s43008-020-00050-y

Title: Polypore fungi as a flagship group to indicate changes in biodiversity - a test case from Estonia
Author: Runnel, Kadri; Miettinen, Otto; Lohmus, Asko
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Botany
Date: 2021-01-18
Language: eng
Number of pages: 31
Belongs to series: IMA Fungus
ISSN: 2210-6340
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/326353
Abstract: Polyporous fungi, a morphologically delineated group of Agaricomycetes (Basidiomycota), are considered well studied in Europe and used as model group in ecological studies and for conservation. Such broad interest, including widespread sampling and DNA based taxonomic revisions, is rapidly transforming our basic understanding of polypore diversity and natural history. We integrated over 40,000 historical and modern records of polypores in Estonia (hemiboreal Europe), revealing 227 species, and including Polyporus submelanopus and P. ulleungus as novelties for Europe. Taxonomic and conservation problems were distinguished for 13 unresolved subgroups. The estimated species pool exceeds 260 species in Estonia, including at least 20 likely undescribed species (here documented as distinct DNA lineages related to accepted species in, e.g., Ceriporia, Coltricia, Physisporinus, Sidera and Sistotrema). Four broad ecological patterns are described: (1) polypore assemblage organization in natural forests follows major soil and tree-composition gradients; (2) landscape-scale polypore diversity homogenizes due to draining of peatland forests and reduction of nemoral broad-leaved trees (wooded meadows and parks buffer the latter); (3) species having parasitic or brown-rot life-strategies are more substrate-specific; and (4) assemblage differences among woody substrates reveal habitat management priorities. Our update reveals extensive overlap of polypore biota throughout North Europe. We estimate that in Estonia, the biota experienced ca. 3-5% species turnover during the twentieth century, but exotic species remain rare and have not attained key functions in natural ecosystems. We encourage new regional syntheses on long studied fungal groups to obtain landscape-scale understanding of species pools, and for elaborating fungal indicators for biodiversity assessments.
Subject: Assemblage composition
Cryptic species
Functional groups
Species pool
Substrate ecology
Wood-inhabiting fungi
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

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