BELongDead – Structural and functional diversity of mushrooms and bacteria during the decomposition of dead wood


Fungi found in deadwood are very diverse. Thus far the environmental conditions within which fungus species communities are established and how they promote the decomposition of wood is still poorly understood. Furthermore, the role of bacteria in this process is still largely unknown.

Project goals:

The research will improve our understanding of how fungus diversity is related to important processes in forests. The results will also help inform recommendations for the optimisation of fungus diversity, and the associated processes, in commercial forests.

Study design::

A total of 1170 tree trunks in 3 different areas (Exploratories) were placed in the buffer zone of the Bavarian Forest National Park. 13 trunks of different tree species form a trial plot, with 30 trial plots established per area. Here, fungi and bacteria are detected by molecular methods. Fungi were additionally inventoried via their fruiting bodies. Furthermore, data on decomposition, enzymes and wood chemistry will be collected.


  • German Research Foundation - DFG

Contact Person:

Dr. Claus Bässler
Section research and natural reserve



  • Baber et al. 2016, Kahl et al. 2017,
  • Baber, K., O. Otto, T. Kahl, M. M. Gossner, C. Wirth, A. Gminder, and C. Bässler. 2016. Disentangling the effects of forest-stand type and dead-wood origin of the early successional stage on the diversity of wood-inhabiting fungi. Forest Ecology and Management 377:161-169.
  • Kahl, T., T. Arnstadt, K. Baber, C. Bässler, J. Bauhus, W. Borken, F. Buscot, A. Floren, C. Heibl, D. Hessenmoller, M. Hofrichter, B. Hoppe, H. Kellner, D. Kruger, K. E. Linsenmair, E. Matzner, P. Otto, W. Purahong, C. Seilwinder, E. D. Schulze, B. Wende, W. W. Weisser, and M. M. Gossner. 2017. Wood decay rates of 13 temperate tree species in relation to wood properties, enzyme activities and organismic diversities. Forest Ecology and Management 391:86-95.

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