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Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


Wood Anatomy and Forest Mycology in a Changing Global Environment

Project Title :  Forest ecosystem restoration dependency on saprotrophic and mycorrhizal fungal communities and the consumption of underutilized biomass reso
Project Number : FPL-4715-2
Status : NEW
Start Date : 08-31-2015
End Date : 08-30-2020

View the 6 publications associated with this project.

Principal Investigator:
Thomas Eberhardt

Non Technical Summary
In concert with characterizing the effects of disturbance, research-based restoration initiatives are needed to address forestlands that are already degraded or vulnerable; in the latter case this refers to overstocked forestlands prone to wildfires, disease, and insect outbreaks. Removal of small diameter timber from overstocked forests will improve forest resiliency; phenotypic characterization of wood resources contributes critical information to permit informed use of such materials as biofuel feedstock, raw materials for advanced wood products, green building materials, and in other innovative applications. Expertise in the identification and classification of fungal systems in forest ecosystems is essential for restoring biodiversity. Saprotrophic fungi, the main decomposers of wood and leaf litter, contribute to soil organic matter, and hence, directly to soil carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration is also augmented by the higher forest productivity afforded by improved soil fertility. In addition, nearly all terrestrial plants are dependent on mutually beneficial root symbioses with mycorrhizal fungi that increase nutrient uptake and drought resistance, reduce heavy metal toxicity, and provide protection against pathogens. The impact of forest management on the populations and functions of saprotrophic, mycorrhizal, and pathogenic fungi is largely unknown. Accurate identification of the fungal species involved, their relationships, and their ecological roles are therefore needed. The ability to restore forest ecosystems is limited by gaps in our understanding of the distribution and roles of saprotrophic and mycorrhizal fungi in carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling and forest health along with the need to develop technologies (biofuels, green building materials) that will facilitate consumption of underutilized biomass.

Objectives Summary
The objective of this problem area is to restore forest ecosystems by improving our understanding of the distribution and roles of saprotrophic and mycorrhizal fungi in carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling and forest health, in concert with the development of technologies to wisely consume underutilized biomass resources.

Approach Summary
• Assessments will be conducted to determine the effects of woody debris addition and extraction on wood-inhabiting fungal communities.• Applications of soil amendments such as bark mulch will be evaluated for facilitating reforestation by establishing fungus-dominated forest floor microbial communities.• The thermal processing of wood will be assessed for imparting fungal decay resistance to both woody biomass feed stocks (biofuels) and solid wood products (green building).

Publications associated with this Project

Publication YearTitleDate Posted
2015Cascading Effects of Canopy Opening and Debris Deposition from a Large-Scale Hurricane Experiment in a Tropical Rain Forest09/15/15
2016Exterior Decay of Wood-Plastic Composite Boards: Characterization and Magnetic Resonance Imaging09/15/15
2014Modern Instrumental Methods to Investigate the Mechanism of Biological Decay in Wood Plastic Composites07/30/14
2016Not just lumber--Using wood in the sustainable future of materials, chemicals, and fuels10/04/16
2014Technical note: Evaluation of a crucible furnace retort for laboratory torrefactions of wood chips04/09/15
2016Yield and Production Properties of Wood chips and Particles Torrefied in a Crucible Furnace Retort07/28/16

Project Summaries last modified: 09-30-2015