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Title: Fire-related changes in biomass of hypogeous sporocarps at foraging points used by a tropical mycophagous marsupial
Contributor(s): Vernes, Karl Adriaan (author)orcid ; Johnson, Christopher N (author); Castellano, Michael A (author)
Publication Date: 2004
DOI: 10.1017/S0953756204000048
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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.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Mycological Research, 108(12), p. 1438-1446
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Place of Publication: England
ISSN: 0953-7562
Field of Research (FOR): 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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