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Science. 2007 Apr 6;316(5821):71.

Rapid and recent changes in fungal fruiting patterns.

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School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK.


Information on responses of higher organisms to climate change is dominated by events in spring. Far less is known about autumnal events and virtually nothing about communities of microorganisms. We analyzed autumnal fruiting patterns of macrofungi over the past 56 years and found that average first fruiting date of 315 species is earlier, while last fruiting date is later. Fruiting of mycorrhizal species that associate with both deciduous and coniferous trees is delayed in deciduous, but not in coniferous, forests. Many species are now fruiting twice a year, indicating increased mycelial activity and possibly greater decay rates in ecosystems.

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