Temporal dynamics of soil fungal communities after partial and total clear-cutting in a managed Pinus sylvestris stand

J. Parladé*, M. Queralt, J. Pera, J. A. Bonet, C. Castaño, F. Martínez-Peña, J. Piñol, M. A. Senar, A. M. De Miguel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Forest management aimed to maximize timber production might impact soil fungi, especially those symbiotically associated to tree roots. In this study, we analyse the temporal dynamics of soil fungi along five sampling years after tree removal in a managed Pinus sylvestris stand in northern Spain, where timber production is combined with regular mushroom harvesting. Two management methods were tested: total and partial clear-cutting leaving retention trees for seedling regeneration. Undisturbed, uncut plots were also included in the experiment as a control treatment. The whole fungal community (phylotypes and ecological guilds) were analysed by high-throughput Illumina MiSeq sequencing of fungal ITS1 amplicons. We hypothesized that (1) ectomycorrhizal fungal communities will decrease after both clear-cutting treatments with a concurrent increase in the abundance of saprotrophs, (2) the abundance and diversity of the ectomycorrhizal guild will be more preserved in partially clear-cut than in total clear-cut plots, and (3) the overall fungal diversity will decrease in the cut plots leading to major losses of ectomycorrhizal species. Our results show that soil fungal composition changed across the five years after clear-cutting by decreasing ectomycorrhizal fungi and increasing saprotrophs. However, these changes did not significantly affect fungal diversity and there were taxa-specific responses to tree harvest treatments. Boletus edulis, the most abundant ectomycorrhizal species fruiting in the study area and a valuable local non-forest resource, was negatively affected by either clear-cutting treatments. Soil fungal community composition in partially clear-cut areas was not different from that of total clear-cut areas. Our results indicate a strong effect of tree harvest on the relative abundance of ectomycorrhizal fungi along the first years after clear-cutting. However, levels of fungal diversity were comparable to the undisturbed forest, thus suggesting a potential further recovery of ectomycorrhizal fungi through the colonization of the regenerated seedlings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117456
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Clear-cutting
  • Ectomycorrhizal edible fungi
  • Forest multifunctionality
  • Forest regeneration
  • Fungal diversity
  • High throughput Illumina MiSeq sequencing
  • Pinus sylvestris

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