iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Concordance between vascular plant and macrofungal community composition in broadleaf deciduous forests in central Italy

Marco Landi (1-2), Elena Salerni (2), Elia Ambrosio (2), Maria D’Aguanno (2), Alessia Nucci (2), Carlo Saveri (1), Claudia Perini (2)   , Claudia Angiolini (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 3, Pages 279-286 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1199-008
Published: Aug 22, 2014 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

We examined the concordance between vascular plants and macrofungi (grouped into trophic groups) in Mediterranean forest habitats (central Italy). Our goal was to test how consistently plant and fungi groups classify plots in a broadleaf deciduous forest dominated by Quercus cerris. Our hypothesis was that groups of plants can be used as surrogates for the classification of macrofungal communities. The test of concordance comprised two steps: 1) the plant species data sets were subjected to cluster analysis, to obtain three classifications based on presence of all plants, presence and frequency of only woody species; 2) Multiple Response Permutation Procedures (MRPP) was used to test the performance of each plant classification applied to the fungi data sets. The sample scores along the first PCA axis was used to investigate the relationships between compositional patterns. In the concordance analysis, the classification of only woody plants provided better results than the classification obtained with herbaceous and woody plants together. Cross-tests gave the best results when the “woody plants” classification was applied to ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) and, to a certain extent, to humicolous saprotrophs (Sh). The ordination analysis indicated that the frequency of woody plants follows a similar spatial distribution to EMF and Sh fungal groups and is therefore expected to discriminate the same environmental gradients. Many EMF exhibit preferences for few (one or two) hosts. Significant associations were found among a greater number of EMF and woody plant species. Woody plants such as Sorbus domestica and Prunus spinosa appear to be associated with many EMF. The combination of a high frequency of Fraxinus oxycarpa and Quercus petraea seems to promote distinct assemblages of EMF and Sh fungi. Then, characteristic assemblages of fungi were found in association with certain tree and shrub combinations.


Deciduous Oaks, Ectomycorrhizal Fungi, Host Specificity, Saprotrophic Fungi, Surrogates, Trophic Groups

Authors’ address

Marco Landi
Carlo Saveri
Ufficio Territoriale per la Biodiversità di Siena, Corpo Forestale dello Stato, v. Cassia Nord 7, I-53100 Siena (Italy)
Marco Landi
Elena Salerni
Elia Ambrosio
Maria D’Aguanno
Alessia Nucci
Claudia Perini
Claudia Angiolini
Department of Life Sciences, University of Siena, v. P.A. Mattioli 4, I-53100 Siena (Italy)

Corresponding author

Claudia Perini


Landi M, Salerni E, Ambrosio E, D’Aguanno M, Nucci A, Saveri C, Perini C, Angiolini C (2015). Concordance between vascular plant and macrofungal community composition in broadleaf deciduous forests in central Italy. iForest 8: 279-286. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1199-008

Academic Editor

Alberto Santini

Paper history

Received: Dec 10, 2013
Accepted: May 15, 2014

First online: Aug 22, 2014
Publication Date: Jun 01, 2015
Publication Time: 3.30 months

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