Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 552188
Title European mushroom assemblages are darker in cold climates
Author(s) Krah, Franz Sebastian; Büntgen, Ulf; Schaefer, Hanno; Müller, Jörg; Andrew, Carrie; Boddy, Lynne; Diez, Jeffrey; Egli, Simon; Freckleton, Robert; Gange, Alan C.; Halvorsen, Rune; Heegaard, Einar; Heideroth, Antje; Heibl, Christoph; Heilmann-Clausen, Jacob; Høiland, Klaus; Kar, Ritwika; Kauserud, Håvard; Kirk, Paul M.; Kuyper, Thomas W.; Krisai-Greilhuber, Irmgard; Norden, Jenni; Papastefanou, Phillip; Senn-Irlet, Beatrice; Bässler, Claus
Source Nature Communications 10 (2019). - ISSN 2041-1723
Department(s) PE&RC
Soil Biology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019

Thermal melanism theory states that dark-colored ectotherm organisms are at an advantage at low temperature due to increased warming. This theory is generally supported for ectotherm animals, however, the function of colors in the fungal kingdom is largely unknown. Here, we test whether the color lightness of mushroom assemblages is related to climate using a dataset of 3.2 million observations of 3,054 species across Europe. Consistent with the thermal melanism theory, mushroom assemblages are significantly darker in areas with cold climates. We further show differences in color phenotype between fungal lifestyles and a lifestyle differentiated response to seasonality. These results indicate a more complex ecological role of mushroom colors and suggest functions beyond thermal adaption. Because fungi play a crucial role in terrestrial carbon and nutrient cycles, understanding the links between the thermal environment, functional coloration and species’ geographical distributions will be critical in predicting ecosystem responses to global warming.

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