Date of Award

12-1985

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Botany

Major Professor

Ronald H. Petersen

Committee Members

David K. Smith, E. E. C. Clebsch, Ernest Bernard

Abstract

An ecological survey of the wood-rotting Aphyllophorales from the spruce-fir forest of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was accomplished with emphasis on resupinate taxa. A total of 105 species are described within 51 genera of 6 families and discussed in terms of habitats, substrates, wood rot, host trees, elevation, and distribution. Sixteen species were successfully cultured. Analytical keys for genera and species are provided, and microscopic characters are illustrated in an appendix.

Fungi usually occur in naturally disturbed areas with windbreaks and windthrows. Fomitopsis, Ganoderma, Phellinus, and Perenniporia are the most common.decay fungi. Hirschioporus and stereoid fungi play important roles in decomposition of recently dead trees, and when they give way, corticioid fungi follow to colonize leftover substrates. Red spruce and Fraser fir are the most important hosts, and two thirds of the fungi collected occur on these trees. Red spruce is affected at mature and old stages, and Fraser fir at younger stages. Elevational distribution of these fungi agrees with that of their host trees. The fungal flora of the spruce-fir forest is different from those of the cove hardwoods forest of Cades Cove and the pine-hardwoods forest of John Knox Camp.

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