Mushrooms Become Scarce After Clearcutting

Most of the mushrooms from ectomycorrhizal fungi found in mature birch and Douglas-fir forests do not appear in recent clearcuts.

Near Salmon Arm, British Columbia, in the Interior Cedar Hemlock biogeoclimatic zone, 185 fruiting bodies were identified in mature forests while 17 were discovered in young plantations.

Although the diversity of fungi was similar in all types of mature stands, over half of the fungi species came from only one type of forest. Mature birch stands had thirty-nine unique fungi associated with tree roots, Douglas-fir had 35, and mixed forests had 17. A further 68 species showed up in all three types of mature forest ranging from 75 to 125 years of age. Two species of fungi grew only in plantations less than a decade old.

Climate had a huge impact on how many species of fungi sprouted mushrooms each year. Dry summers resulted in a dearth of ectomycorrhizal mushrooms compared with wetter years.


Daniel M. Durall, Sharmin Gamiet, Suzanne W. Simard, Lenka Kudrna and Stacey M. Sakakibara. 2006. Effects of clearcut logging and tree species composition on the diversity and community composition of epigeous fruit bodies formed by ectomycorrhizal fungi. Canadian Journal of Botany. 84(6): 966-980.

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