Investigation of growth responses in saprophytic fungi to charred biomass

Ascough, P.L. , Sturrock, C.J. and Bird, M.I. (2010) Investigation of growth responses in saprophytic fungi to charred biomass. Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies, 46(1), pp. 64-77. (doi: 10.1080/10256010903388436)

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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 (<sup>13</sup>C and <sup>15</sup>N) to investigate fungal colonisation of control and incubated samples of Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) wood, and charcoal from the same species produced at 300 °C and 400 °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.

Item Type:Articles (Letter)
Keywords:Biochar, carbon-13, charcoal, degradation, fungi, isotope ecology, nitrogen-15
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ascough, Dr Philippa
Authors: Ascough, P.L., Sturrock, C.J., and Bird, M.I.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1477-2639
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2010 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies 46(1):64-77
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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