Vasaitis, R.*, Burnevica, N., Uotila, A., Dahlberg, A. and Kasanen, R. 2016. Cut Picea abies Stumps Constitute Low Quality Substrate for Sustaining Biodiversity in Fungal Communities. Baltic Forestry 22(2): 239-245.

   As large-scale stump harvesting for biofuel is implemented in North Europe, it raised concern of depriving of coarse dead wood and reducing biodiversity of wood fungi. Aims of this study: i) to analyze what sampling effort would be required to reflect fungal diversity in cut tree stumps; ii) to evaluate relevance of found species for nature conservation. A total of 300 wood samples were taken from 60 stumps at a clear cut area, cultures of fungi isolated and subjected to molecular identification. In total, 839 of fungal strains were obtained (approx. 3 per sample and 14 per stump), representing 51 taxa. The extent of sampling has largely reflected species richness of (cultivable) fungi in stumps and on the clear-cut. Conclusions: i) among detected all were common fungi; ii) cut stumps commonly and regularly harbor important tree pathogens, representing bases for their establishment, reproduction and further spread; iii) no threatened species of fungus has been ever reported to colonize and complete lifecycle on a cut logging stump; iv) stump harvesting does not pose any threat for rare and vulnerable fungi of natural forest.

Keywords: wood decomposition, coarse woody debris, wood harvesting, basidiomycetes, ophiostomoid fungi.