Aims of the project
We hypothesize that occurrence of fungi depends not only on local ecological conditions, but also on bioclimatic and geographic influences. We also hypothesize that fungi with different trophic strategies interact differently to various environmental factors. These aspects will be tested on three model fungal groups with different trophic strategies in Europe: lichenised fungi of genera Placynthium and Solenopsora, ectomycorrhizal fungi of the genus Russula (subsections Maculatinae and Xerampelinae) and parasitic powdery mildews (family Erysiphaceae) growing on selected forest trees. The most important source of data will be records on occurrence of precisely defined fungal taxa (genetically, morphologically and anatomically) supplemented by ecological metadata.
The aim of the project is to identify geographical elements within each trophic group and to assign bioclimatic and geographical factors influencing their area of distribution. Moreover, we will investigate if defined environmental factors are related to selected morphological traits. We will also look at the prediction of distributional range development in connection with climate change scenaria for future.
We will search the answers to the following questions:
1. Distribution areas versus ecological requirements. What do distribution areas say about model objects in Europe? What is proportion of ubiquistic species and geographic elements within individual trophic groups? At what extend do habitats of species inhabiting similar substrate or host plant overlap? Is there a correlation of determined distribution areas with bioclimatic zones of Europe? Do distribution areas of studied species depend on climate, geographical and ecological factors – if yes, on which ones? Are there any geographical or ecological disjunctions, which are barriers for spreading of studied species?
2. Distribution areas versus biological properties of organisms. Is there a relation between trophic strategy of fungi and their climatic or ecological preferences? Are there morphological adaptations of reproductive structures of model fungal species in relation to climate or ecological preferences?
3. Distribution areas versus climate scenarios. Can distribution areas of defined geographic elements be affected by future climate scenarios?