ISSN 10674136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2010, Vol. 41, No. 5, pp. 445–449. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2010.
Original Russian Text © I.V. Stavishenko, 2010, published in Ekologiya, 2010, No. 5, pp. 397–400.
Xylotrophic basidial fungi are an essential compo
nent of forest ecosystems that determines their stabil
ity and productivity (Bondartseva, 2000; Tyler, 1984;
etc.). The high sensitivity of this group to changes in
natural climatic and anthropogenic factors allows
using it as an individual biondicator (Bondartseva and
Svishch, 1991; Mukhin et al., 2000; Stavishenko et al.,
Although the spatial and functional organization of
mycobiota have been described in detail (Burova,
1986; Mukhin, 1993; etc.), many aspects of the func
tioning and transformation of xylotrophic fungal com
munities under the impact of anthropogenic factors,
especially at the regional level, are still poorly known.
Studies on the current state of xylotrophic fungal
biota in forest areas exposed to industrial pollutant
emissions were carried out in the Sverdlovsk Region,
in the vicinities of Revda (the Middle Ural Copper
Smelter, MUCS), Kirovgrad (the Kirovgrad Copper
Smelter, KCS), and Polevskoi (the Polevskoi Cryolite
Plant, PCP). Lowmountain forest areas in the Visim
State Biosphere Reserve (VSBR) and its protection
zone were used as the regional background (control).
The areas of spruce–fir and pine forests studied on the
eastern macroslope of the Middle Urals lie in the
southern taiga subzone (Igoshina, 1964).
Emissions from the Middle Ural and Kirovgrad
copper smelters consist mostly of sulfur dioxide and
polymetallic dust (Cu, Pb, Cd, etc.); those from the
Polevskoi Cryolite Plant, of acid gases and fluorine
compounds. The components of air pollutants are
described in detail elsewhere (Vorobeichik et al., 2006;
For xylotrophic basidial fungi, wood substrate is the
basis for development and dispersal (Burova, 1986).
This study was focused mainly on aphyllophoroid
fungi, species with nonlamellate hymenophore
(Donk, 1964). The state of forest xylotrophic fungal
communities (cenomycocomplexes) was studied by
the “broken” transect method, in temporary test plots
containing at least 200 trees of forestforming species.
In each industrial area along the westward transect,
mycocomplexes were studied in plots located 1, 2, 3,
and 4 km from the pollution source plant: near the
KCS, these were areas of middleaged (with separate
mature trees), mature, and oldgrowth grass–green
moss and herb–green moss pine forests; near the PCP,
areas of mature and oldgrowth
pine forests. Near the MUCS, these were areas of old
growth and mature horsetail– green moss, grass–
greenmoss, and herb– greenmoss fir–spruce forest
and of oldgrowth herb–green moss forest located 1.3,
2.5, 4.5, and 7 km from the pollution source. Myco
complexes of oldgrowth herb–green moss pine forest
and herb–greenmoss fir–spruce forest in the VSBR
and its protection zone, located more than 30 km away
from the industrial areas, were used as the control.
A substrate unit with developed basidiomes was
used as the counting unit for each fungal species
(Mukhin, 1993). The substrate of the fungi was dead
wood—coarse debris, fallen trees, deadstanding
trees, stumps, roots, etc.—with or without developed
basidiomes and also living trees infected by phyto
pathogenic fungi. The degree of dead wood decompo
sition was estimated on the fivegrade scale (I–V) pro
posed by P.V. Gordienko (see Burova, 1986).
The functional structure of cenotic xylotrophic
fungal communities, traditionally regarded as consorts
of autotrophic plants (Burova, 1986; Mukhin, 1993;
Bondartseva, 2000; etc.) is described at the level of
merocenosis, a consortium of forestforming species.
The abundance of fungi in the test plots was esti
mated as the ratio of the number of fungal counting
units to the total number of substrate units counted
(ind./100 substrate units). Substrate units without fun
gal fruiting bodies were considered unoccupied by
The State of Forest Xylotrophic Fungal Communities Exposed
to Industrial Air Pollutants
I. V. Stavishenko
Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Division, Russian Academy of Sciences,
ul. Vos’mogo Marta 202, Yekaterinburg, 620144 Russia
Received January 20, 2010
: air pollutants, sulfur dioxide, polymetallic dust, acid gases, and fluorine compounds, aerotechno
genic pollution, xylotrophic fungi, mycocoplexes, mycobiota transformation, bioindication.