Effects of attack of saprobic fungi on twig litter decomposition by endophytic fungi

Yu Fukasawa, Takashi Osono, Hiroshi Takeda

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50 Citations (Scopus)


Endophytic fungi of healthy twig tissues act as dominant primary colonizers of twig litters and are exposed to the attacks of saprobic secondary colonizers. In the present study, we examined the effect of interspecific interactions on the decay rate of twigs in laboratory experiments using two endophytic ascomycetes (Phomopsis sp. and Xylaria sp.) and two saprobic basidiomycetes (Mycena polygramma and Phanerochaete filamentosa) on twigs of Japanese beech (Fagus crenata) as a model system. Both endophytes were defensive against two saprobes on 2% malt agar, and were not replaced by the saprobes in the twigs during the incubation period. However, inoculation of the saprobes reduced the mass loss of twig components (acid-unhydrolyzable residue (AUR), holocellulose, soluble carbohydrate, and polyphenol). Especially when the twigs previously inoculated with Xylaria sp. or Phomopsis sp. were successively inoculated with M. polygramma the net weight of AUR increased, which was probably due to the synthesized melanin in hyphae of the endophytes. Our findings indicate that interspecific interactions between endophytic and saprobic fungi do affect the total mass of humic substances produced during the litter decay process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1073
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sept


  • Acid-unhydrolyzable residue (AUR)
  • Beech
  • Humus accumulation
  • Interspecific interaction
  • Melanin


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