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The pattern of diversity and functioning of fungi associated with leaf litter decomposition in Asian forests of different climatic regions was investigated by performing meta-analysis of published data for seven tree species in subalpine, temperate, subtropical and tropical forests. Fungal assemblages were examined by using common standard isolation-culture methods, and the abilities of individual fungal species to decompose leaf litter were examined with pure culture decomposition tests. The climatic patterns of diversity, assemblage structure and genus composition depended on the method of isolation: the washing method revealed no consistent pattern, whereas the surface sterilization method showed lower diversity and greater relative abundance of dominant fungal species within the assemblages in cooler climates. The decomposing ability of species within fungal assemblages was greater in warmer than in cooler climates and in broad-leaved than in coniferous tree species. In particular, the greatest abilities to cause mass loss were found among fungi with ligninolytic activity in broad-leaved tree species in warmer climates.
- Fung Ecol
Fung Ecol 4(6), 375-385, 2011-12-00