Date of Award

Fall 2004

Project Type


Program or Major

Plant Biology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Robert Blanchard


The wood decay fungus Hypholoma sublateritium (Fr.) Quel., links the mineral (BC & E) and organic (Oe) soil layers to decomposing coarse woody debris (CWD) in a northern hardwood forest. This link supports the possibility that energy stored in woody debris can facilitate the vertical transfer of elements and compounds within the soil profile. This potential transfer implies new pathways for biogeochemical cycling within forests. H. sublateritium was isolated from basidiocarp fruiting bodies (October 1997 & 1998), Acer rubrum L. bole wood (June 1999), and three soil horizons (October 1999 and October 2000) from one of six research sites in the Bartlett Experimental Forest, New Hampshire. The dominant tree species at these research sites, determined by basal area, were Acer rubrum, Fagus grandifolia Ehrh., and Betula papyrifera Marshall. The soil type was Monadnock fine sandy loam, which is very stony, with a 3--8 percent slope.

Fungi were isolated from basidiocarp fruiting bodies, bole wood, and soils using (1) selective media containing two fungicides (benomyl and dichloran), three antibiotics (chlortetracycline-HCl, streptomycin sulfate, and penicillin G), selective culture methods for isolating from soil, (2) French square jar wood baits, and (3) soil pit wood baits. Media containing lignin and guaiacol (LGBDA and LGBA) were most effective for isolation of basidiomycetes from organic soil, whereas a malt-yeast medium (MYBDA) was most effective for isolation from mineral soil; all three media were equally effective for isolation from bole wood or fruiting bodies. Fungal isolates were differentiated by texture, color, and microscopic characteristics, and identified by sequencing their nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) in the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region using the primers ITS1-4.