Wood-inhabiting fungi are critically important for the decomposition of coarse woody debris (CWD). To evaluate the relative importance of climate, vegetation, and spatial factors in the functional composition of fungal communities that inhabit CWD in discontinuously distributed subalpine Hondo spruce (Picea jezoensis (Sieb. & Zucc.) Carr. var. hondoensis (Mayr) Rehder) forests, a metabarcoding analysis was conducted on spruce deadwood samples obtained from six subalpine forests in central Japan using a high-throughput DNA sequencing technique. We detected 454 fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 67 spruce CWDs and determined that spatial factors explained a larger fraction of community variation than environmental (climate and vegetation) factors at all six study sites. However, environmental factors explained a larger fraction than spatial factors if we excluded data from one site that is geographically distant from other study sites. The OTU number and the occurrence of brown-rot fungi were positively associated with mean annual temperature and negatively associated with mean annual precipitation. Similarly, the principal component of forest vegetation significantly affected the OTU number and occurrence of brown-rot fungi. Precipitation seasonality was positively associated with the OTU number of undefined saprotrophs. These results suggest that fungal OTUs belonging to different functional groups respond differently to environmental variables.
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