Research article
Issue: № 2 (22), 2022


In the soils of the forest ecosystems litter decomposition is an important part of the carbon cycle. Soil fungi play fundamental role in this process, however, our knowledge about their successive changes is very limited, and their potential abilities under global warming are unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the diversity of the cultivable soil fungi during the annual cycle of aspen leaves and branches decomposition in laboratory experiments at different temperatures. Monthly soil fungi were quantified by plating technique followed by estimation of the morphological data and identification to genus level by the authentic manuals. Successional changes in fungal communities were revealed, and 102 cultures of the frequent fungal morphotaxa were isolated. It was found that the fungal communities were dominated by Ascomycota and Mortierellomycota. Eleven representative isolates were chosen for further molecular phylogenetic analysis of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS1 and ITS2) DNA sequencing. It was found that Penicillium, Mucor and Mortirella were dominated at the early stage of succession and occurred most frequently throughout the decomposition process. During litter decomposition the predominance and diversity of Ascomycota increased, especially at 12oC. The frequency of Pseudogymnoascus, Cephalotrichum and Trichocladium was higher at 2oC, whereas temperature rise to 22oC led to an increase in Oidiodendron abundance. We propose that succession was driven by a decrease in the easily degradable carbohydrates and a rise in stable compounds content. Our study demonstrated that temperature was a strong determinant of the soil fungi species composition during litter decomposition.

Full text is available in pdf only


  • Taylor L.D. The soil fungi: occurrence, phylogeny, and ecology / L.D. Taylor, R.L. Sinsabaugh // In: Eldor.P. (ed) Soil Microbiology, Ecology and Biochemistry. 4th edition. – Academic Press, – pp. 77–109.

  • Wrzosek M.Z. The plasticity of fungal interactions / M.Z. Wrzosek, M. Ruszkiewicz-Michalska, K. Sikora et al. // Mycological Progress. –2017. – №. 16– pp. 101–108. DOI: 10.1007/s11557-016-1257-x.

  • Terekhova V.A. Micromycetes in the ecological assessment of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. / V.A. Terekhova – Moscow: Nauka, 2007 – 215 p.

  • Giweta M. Role of litter production and its decomposition, and factors affecting the processes in a tropical forest ecosystem: a review / M. Giweta // J Ecology Environ. – 2020. – № 44.– P. 11. DOI: 10.1186/s41610-020-0151-2.

  • Vedrova E.F. Organic matter decomposition in forest litters / E.F. Vedrova // Eurasian Soil Sc. – 1987 – №. 30(2) – pp.181-188.

  • Eriksson K.E.L. Microbial and enzymatic degradation of wood and wood components / K.E.L. Eriksson, R.A. Blanchette, P. Ander // Berlin: Springer, 1990. – 407 p.

  • Crowther T. Quantifying global soil carbon losses in response to warming / T. Crowther, K. Todd-Brown, C. Rowe et al. // Nature – 2016 – № 540– pp. 104–108. DOI:10.1038/nature20150

  • Žifčáková L. Microbial activity in forest soil reflects the changes in ecosystem properties between summer and winter / L. Žifčáková, T. Vetrovský, A. Howe et al. // Environ Microbiol. – 2016. – №.18. – pp. 288–301. DOI:10.1111/1462-2920. 13026.

  • Woodcroft B.J. Genome-centric view of carbon processing in thawing permafrost / B.J. Woodcroft, C.M. Singleton,

  • J.A. Boyd et al. // Nature. – 2018. – V.60. – pp.49-54. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0338-1).

  • Krishna M.P. Litter decomposition in forest ecosystems: a review/ M.P. Krishna, M. Mohan // Energy Ecol Environ. –2017 – №2(4). – pp.236–249. DOI: 10.1007/s40974-017-0064-9.

  • Berg B. Plant litter. Decomposition, humus formation, carbon sequestration/ B. Berg, C. McClaugherty // Springer – 2008 – 340 p.

  • Berg B. Litter decomposition: A guide to carbon and nutrient turnover/ B. Berg, R. Laskowski // Adv Ecol Res– 2006 –№.38 – 428 p.

  • Tikhonova E.N. Effect of temperature on the taxonomic structure of soil bacterial communities during litter decomposition. / E.N. Tikhonova, E.V. Men’ko, R.V. Ulanova et al. // Microbiology (Russian Federation). – 2019 – №. 88(6) – pp.781-785. DOI:10.1134/S0026261719060195.

  • Domsch K.H. Compendium of soil fungi/ K.H. Domsch, W. Gams, T-H. Anderson // 2nd taxonomically revised edition by W. Gams– 2007– Eching: IHW-Verlag– 627 p.

  • Santschi F. Leaf litter diversity and structure of microbial decomposer communities modulate litter decomposition in aquatic systems/ F. Santschi, I. Gounand, E. Harvey et al. // Functional Ecol. – 2018. – № 32.– pp. 522–532. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12980.

  • Scheu S. Multitrophic interactions in decomposer communities / S. Scheu, H. Setälä // Multitrophic Level Interactions – 2002. – Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. – pp. 223-264. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511542190.

  • Osono T. Comparison of litter decomposing ability among diverse fungi in a cool temperate deciduous forest in Japan / T. Osono, H. Takeda // Mycologia. – 2002 – № .94(3). – pp. 421-427. DOI:10.1080/15572536.2003.11833207.

  • Rosas-Medina M. Diversity of fungi in soils with different degrees of degradation in Germany and Panama / M. Rosas-Medina, G. Maciá-Vicente, M. Piepenbring // Mycobiology – №. 48(1) – pp. 20-28 DOI: 10.1080/12298093.2019.1700658.

  • López-Mondéjar R. Decomposer food web in a deciduous forest shows high share of generalist microorganisms and importance of microbial biomass recycling/ R. López-Mondéjar, V Brabcová, M Štursová et al. // The ISME journal. – 2018. – №12(7). – pp.1768–1778. DOI:10.1038/s41396-018-0084-2.