Fungal diversity and succession under Eucalyptus grandis plantations in Ethiopia.

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Dejene T., JA Oria-de-Rueda, P Martín-Pinto (2017) - Fungal diversity and succession under Eucalyptus grandis plantations in Ethiopia. - Forest Ecology and Management

In Ethiopia, plantation forestry is dominated by Eucalyptus tree species. However, there is a very limited
knowledge on the associated flora, specifically any study focused on fungal flora is lacking. In this study, we
investigated the fungal species diversity, composition and sporocarp production in relation to plantation age of
Eucalyptus grandis stands in Southern Ethiopia. For this purpose, we surveyed nine plots (100 m2) established in
ten-, nineteen-, and thirty-seven years old E. grandis stands. We found a total of 29 fungal taxa belonging to
Basidiomycota, with the exception of Xylaria hypoxylon which is Ascomycota. All the taxa collected were saprophytic
and one third of them were classified as edible. Taxa richness, species composition, the Shannon
diversity values, and sporocarp yield were positively correlated with plantation age. The PERMANOVA showed
that the stands are significantly different (P < 0.05) in terms of their fungal species composition. An analysis of
similarity percentage (SIMPER) also identified influential fungal taxa such as Lepiota aff. cristata and Marasmius
sp. that best differentiated between paired stands. This preliminary study extends our knowledge of fungal
community structure in plantation forests and provides a starting place in broadening Eucalyptus stands management
objectives for Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) in the country, mainly of mushrooms that could
provide complementary incomes for the rural people

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