Seasonal disconnects between saprobic and mycorrhizal sporocarp communities in the Southern Appalachian Mountains


The southern Appalachian Mountains in the United States are heavily forested with diverse forest types and vegetation structures and is generally considered a biodiversity hotspot. Fungal sporocarp investigations in this region are not new, but multi-year interseasonal investigations into sporocarp community patterns are rare. Using a 4-year (2014–2017) repeated monthly macrofungal sampling dataset (May–October) across an elevational gradient (associated with vegetation structure), we queried community, seasonal, and guild community ecological patterns. In doing so, we (1) demonstrate a temporal disconnect between saprobic and ectomycorrhizal taxa, (2) describe increased community variability across the growing season, and (3) explore individual taxa occurrences across seasons and examine co-occurrence patterns between taxa and guilds. Further, we explore congruence between sporocarp and metabarcoding fungal datasets and advocate the utility of both sampling schemes.

Publication Title

Fungal Ecology