Wood-rotting fungi are major organisms exploiting coarse woody debris (CWD) in forests. Here, guild structure of wood-rotting fungi was investigated in cool temperate (Chichibu) and warm temperate (Chiba) forests in central Japan, based on their occurrence on CWD of different volumes and decay stages. Analysis with the program partitioning around medoids (PAM) recognized two clusters in Chichibu and four in Chiba, and their silhouette coefficients (an index for reliability of clustering) were adequately high, suggesting the existence of non-random clustering structure. To examine whether the clustering structure observed in this study was based on fungal preference for CWD or discontinuities in the distribution of CWD characteristics (decay stage and volume), null model analyses were made in which all fungal species were randomly redistributed among CWD. Silhouette coefficients based on the null model were reasonably high in both localities, indicating the observed clustering structure was at least partly attributable to the discontinuity in the distribution of CWD characteristics. In addition, the silhouette coefficient of the observed clustering structure was significantly higher than that of the null model in both localities. This result suggests that guild structure was present in the wood-rotting fungal communities, and the difference in CWD preference among wood-rotting fungi contributed to the structuralization of the communities.
- Cluster analysis
- Null model
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics