Investigation of growth responses in saprophytic fungi to charred biomass

Philippa L. Ascough*, Craig J. Sturrock, Michael I. Bird

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present the results of a study testing the response of two saprophytic white-rot fungi species, Pleurotus pulmonarius and Coriolus versicolor, to charred biomass (charcoal) as a growth substrate. We used a combination of optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, elemental abundance measurements, and isotope ratio mass spectrometry (13C and 15N) to investigate fungal colonisation of control and incubated samples of Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) wood, and charcoal from the same species produced at 300 degrees C and 400 degrees C. Both species of fungi colonise the surface and interior of wood and charcoals over time periods of less than 70 days; however, distinctly different growth forms are evident between the exterior and interior of the charcoal substrate, with hyphal penetration concentrated along lines of structural weakness. Although the fungi were able to degrade and metabolise the pine wood, charcoal does not form a readily available source of fungal nutrients at least for these species under the conditions used in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number919849668
Pages (from-to)64-77
Number of pages14
JournalIsotopes in Environmental and Health Studies
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • biochar
  • carbon-13
  • charcoal
  • degradation
  • fungi
  • isotope ecology
  • nitrogen-15
  • WHITE-ROT FUNGI
  • MICROBIAL COMMUNITY
  • PLEUROTUS-OSTREATUS
  • CONTAMINATED SOIL
  • CHARCOAL
  • CARBON
  • DEGRADATION
  • BIODEGRADATION
  • MECHANISMS
  • MAIZE

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