Effects of forest dieback on wood decay, saproxylic communities, and spruce seedling regeneration on coarse woody debris

Yu Fukasawa, Yoko Ando, Yoshitaka Oishi, Kimiyo Matsukura, Kunihiro Okano, Zewei Song, Daisuke Sakuma

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Picea is one of the most dominant conifer genera in the Northern Hemisphere and includes species which require coarse woody debris (CWD) as a seedbed for regeneration. To understand the future of forest distribution under global climate change, it is important to investigate regeneration mechanisms in Picea forests on the borders of its distribution. In the present study, we evaluated the biotic factors affecting the establishment of Picea jezoensis var. hondoensis seedlings on CWD in one of its southernmost populations in central Japan, where there is dieback of Picea forest. Amplicon sequencing of the fungal ITS1 region of rDNA obtained from wood samples showed that forest dieback increased the frequency of brown rot fungi in CWD. The frequency of brown-rotted wood, in which wood holocellulose is decayed, increased with dieback intensity. The domination of brown-rotted wood in dieback forests was negatively associated with bryophyte cover which was positively associated with Picea seedling density. Forest dieback itself also had other strong negative effects on bryophytes. Thus, linkages between dead wood and spruce seedlings via bryophytes had collapsed after the dieback event, which may partly be a reason that the spruce forest shifted to and is staying as open grassland.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)198-208
    Number of pages11
    JournalFungal Ecology
    Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct


    • Bryophyte
    • DNA metabarcording
    • Dead wood
    • Decomposition
    • Forest decline
    • Fungi
    • Seedling regeneration
    • Spruce

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Ecology
    • Ecological Modelling
    • Plant Science


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