Wood-inhabiting fungi may affect soil fungal communities directly underneath decaying wood via their exploratory hyphae. In addition, differences in wood leachates between decaying tree species may influence soil fungal communities. We determined the composition of fungi in 4-yr old decaying logs of Larix kaempferi and Quercus rubra as well as in soil directly underneath and next to logs. Fungal community composition in soil covered by logs was different from that in wood and uncovered soil and was clearly influenced by the tree species. Soil fungal species richness under logs was lower than in uncovered soil but higher than in decaying wood. The amount of exploratory hyphae of log-inhabiting fungi was only high close to decaying logs. In conclusion, there is a small but significant effect of decaying coniferous and broadleaf logs on soil fungal communities directly underneath logs, likely affected by differences in wood chemistry and fungal preference between tree species.
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