Wildfires play a critical role in maintaining biodiversity and shaping ecosystem structure in fire-prone regions, and successional patterns involving numerous plant and fungal species in post-fire events have been elucidated. Evidence is growing to support the idea that some post-fire fungi can form endophytic/endolichenic relationships with plants and lichens. However, no direct observations of fire-associated fungal–moss interactions have been visualized to date. Therefore, physical interactions between a post-fire fungus, Pholiota carbonaria, and a moss, Polytrichum commune, were visually examined under laboratory conditions. Fungal appressoria were visualized on germi-nating spores and living protonemata within two weeks of inoculation in most growth chambers. Appressoria were pigmented, reddish gold to braun, and with a penetration peg. Pigmented, reddish gold to braun fungal hyphae were associated with living tissue, and numerous mature rhizoids contained fungal hyphae at six months. Inter-rhizoidal hyphae were pigmented and reddish gold to braun, but no structures were visualized on mature gametophyte leaf or stem tissues. Based on our visual evidence and previous work, we provide additional support for P. carbonaria having multiple strategies in how it obtains nutrients from the environment, and provide the first visual documentation of these structures in vitro.
- Fungal–bryophyte ecology
- Pyrophilous fungi
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Space and Planetary Science