Macrofungi of oligotrophic Scots pine forests in northern Finland

Authors: Väre, Henry & Ohenoja, Esteri & Ohtonen, Rauni
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 36 (1996), Issue 1, pages 1-18.
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Key words: Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, boreal pine forests, decomposer, macrofungi, mycorrhiza, saprophytic, yield

Abstract:  As part of the Lapland Forest Damage Project, permanent sampling plots in oligotrophic dry pine forests with sparse birch or spruce undergrowth were established in Finnish Lapland. One additional site was established in northern Norway. Sporocarps were collected from 14 plots in autumns 1991-1994. All together 207 fungus species were identified, 167 of them stipitate fungi and 40 corticioid or polyporoid species. Seventy-two fungus species were found at only one site, and 44 species at two or three sites. The remaining 91 species (47%), which were found at more than three sites, may be considered as common in the northern boreal pine forests of eastern Fennoscandia. Fifteen of these species were not especially associated with pine. Fifty-five per cent of all species were mycorrhizal, but as much as 70% of the common ones. In total, about 152 species were associated with pine. Ninety of these were mycorrhizal species, eight of them perhaps also mycorrhizal with birch or spruce; 44 were wood decomposers and 18 humicular species, decomposing mainly pine needles; 14 saprophytic species lived amongst mosses. The ectomycorrhizal genus Cortinarius was overwhelmingly most rich in species, with about 35 distinguished taxa. Of humicular saprophytic species 75% belonged to the family Tricholomataceae. The 58 wood decomposers mostly belonged to Corticiaceae and Polyporaceae. Only one basidiolichen, one coprophilous and one mycophilous species were found. The average annual yield of sporocarps was 4600 g dw ha-1. The variation from one year to the next was marked, with the most productive year being 1993 (9685 g dw ha-1) and the poorest 1994 (1115 g dw ha-1). Four species, Suillus variegatus, Lactarius rufus, Russula decolorans and R. paludosa, were responsible for 75% of the total yield in the best year. All of them are mycorrhizal and edible. The average annual yield of edible species was 3170 g dw ha-1, nearly 70% of the total yield. Four genera produced 85% of the yield, namely Cortinarius which accounted for 20%, Lactarius for 26%, Russula for 15% and Suillus for 27%. The proportion of mycorrhizal fungi was 98%.