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Multiscale patterns of rarity in British fungi, inferred from fruiting records

Gange, AC, Allen, LP, Nussbaumer, A, Gange, EG, Andrew, C, Egli, S, Senn-Irlet, B and Boddy, L ORCID: 2019. Multiscale patterns of rarity in British fungi, inferred from fruiting records. Global Ecology and Biogeography 28 (8) , pp. 1106-1117. 10.1111/geb.12918

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Aim It is unknown whether fungi show similar trends to other organisms in their macroecological patterns of abundance and spatial distribution. Here, we investigated fungal abundance–occupancy relationships to determine whether fungi that are common at a local scale tend to be more widely distributed. Location UK and Switzerland. Time period 1950–2014. Major taxa studied Fungi. Methods We used a local data set of fruiting records of 2,319 species in the UK, accumulated over 65 years, and one from Switzerland of 319 species, spanning 32 years. Using the number of records and occurrence as proxies for abundance, in each case we examined the form of species and rank abundance distributions and compared these with distributions of records in the national databases over the same time. We plotted relationships of the local number of records and regional occupancy and calculated multiscale indices of rarity for all fungal species. Results There was a remarkable congruence in the patterns found in the UK and Switzerland. Regional assemblages are characterized by many rare species, whereas few are common (fitting the lognormal distribution). However, at local scales, distributions best fitted a power law, suggesting that habitat availability or dispersal processes might play important roles. Fungi with a high number of local records are densely distributed nationally, but unlike other organisms, locally rare fungi may also be densely distributed at a wider scale. Main conclusions Fungal fruiting records can be used to infer patterns in fungal distributions. Abundances in local assemblages may be determined by the position of the assemblage in the overall geographical range of each species, dispersal ability and environmental filtering. We advocate the use of multiscale approaches to rarity in future fungal sampling programmes, to provide more reliable information for future conservation policy decisions and fungal biogeography.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1466-822X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 April 2019
Date of Acceptance: 5 March 2019
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 08:11

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