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Mushroom's spore size and time of fruiting are strongly related: is moisture important?

Kauserud, Havard, Heegaard, Einar, Halvorsen, Rune, Boddy, Lynne, Hoiland, Klaus and Stenseth, Nils Chr. 2011. Mushroom's spore size and time of fruiting are strongly related: is moisture important? Biology Letters 7 (2) , pp. 273-276. 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0820

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Abstract

Most basidiomycete fungi produce annual short-lived sexual fruit bodies from which billions of microscopic spores are spread into the air during a short time period. However, little is known about the selective forces that have resulted in some species fruiting early and others later in the fruiting season. This study of relationships between morphological and ecological characteristics, climate factors and time of fruiting are based upon thorough statistical analyses of 66 520 mapped records from Norway, representing 271 species of autumnal fruiting mushroom species. We found a strong relationship between spore size and time of fruiting; on average, a doubling of spore size (volume) corresponded to 3 days earlier fruiting. Small-spored species dominate in the oceanic parts of Norway, whereas large-spored species are typical of more continental parts. In separate analyses, significant relationships were observed between spore size and climate factors. We hypothesize that these relationships are owing to water balance optimization, driven by water storage in spores as a critical factor for successful germination of primary mycelia in the drier micro-environments found earlier in the fruiting season and/or in continental climates.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: fungi; fruiting; fruiting body; phenology; spore; spore size
Publisher: Royal Society
ISSN: 1744-9561
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:33
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/22780

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