Roles of diverse fungi in larch needle-litter decomposition

Takashi Osono, Yu Fukasawa, Hiroshi Takeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Functional biodiversity of fungi in larch (Larix leptolepis) forests needle-litter decomposition was examined by a pure-culture test. Weight loss of larch-needle litter, utilization pattern of lignocellulose and chemical composition of remaining litter were investigated and compared for 31 isolates in 27 species of basidiomycetes and ascomycetes. Weight loss (% original weight) of litter ranged from -2.0% to 14.2%. Mean weight loss of litter caused by the basidiomycetes was not significantly different from that caused by the ascomycetes. Basidiomycetes caused loss of lignin and carbohydrates in variable proportions, while ascomycetes exclusively attacked carbohydrates without delignification. The content of lignin and nitrogen in remaining litter was not significantly correlated when both basidiomycetes and ascomycetes were included. However, the correlation coefficient was significant when the relationship was examined separately for basidiomycetes, indicating that the degree of selective delignification determined the final nitrogen content in litter. Possible effects of fungal colonization on needle-litter decomposition in larch forests are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-826
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Carbohydrates
  • Ecology
  • Larix leptolepis
  • Lignin
  • Selective delignification
  • Simultaneous decay


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