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Fungal fruit body assemblages are tougher in harsh microclimates

Cite this dataset

Krah, Franz-Sebastian et al. (2022). Fungal fruit body assemblages are tougher in harsh microclimates [Dataset]. Dryad.


Forest species are affected by macroclimate, however, the microclimatic variability can be more extreme and change through climate change. Fungal fruiting community composition was affected by microclimatic differences. Here we ask whether differences in the fruiting community can be explained by morphological traits of the fruit body, which may help endure harsh conditions. We used a dead wood experiment and macrofungal fruit body size, color, and toughness. We exposed logs of two host tree species under closed and experimentally opened forest canopies in a random-block design for four years and identified all visible fruit bodies of two fungal lineages (Basidio- and Ascomycota). We found a consistently higher proportion of tough-fleshed species in harsher microclimates under open canopies. Although significant, responses of community fruit body size and color lightness were inconsistent across lineages. We suggest the toughness-protection hypothesis, stating that tough-fleshed fruit bodies protect from microclimatic extremes by reducing dehydration. Our study suggests that the predicted increase of microclimatic harshness with climate change will likely decrease the presence of soft-fleshed fruit bodies. Whether harsh microclimates also affect the mycelium of macrofungi with different fruit body morphology would complement our findings and increase predictability under climate change.


Please see details in the published article

Usage notes

This is data together with an R script. 

Please exchange line 116 with our path:

In this location both files (data and R script) should be. Then you can just run the analysis in R.