Explaining European fungal fruiting phenology with climate variability

Carrie Andrew, Einar Heegaard, Klaus Hoiland, Beatrice Senn-Irlet, Thomas Kuyper, Irmgard Krisai-Greilhuber, Paul Kirk, Jacob Heilmann-Clausen, Alan Gange, Simon Egli, Claus Bassler, Ulf Buntgen, Lynne Boddy, Havard Kauserud

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Here we assess the impact of geographically dependent (latitude, longitude and altitude) changes in bioclimatic (temperature, precipitation and primary productivity) variability on fungal fruiting phenology across Europe. Two main nutritional guilds of fungi, saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal, were further separated into spring and autumn fruiters. We used a path-analysis to investigate how biogeographic patterns in fungal fruiting phenology coincided with seasonal changes in climate and primary production. Across central to northern Europe, mean fruiting varied by approximately 25 days, primarily with latitude. Altitude affected fruiting by up to 30 days, with spring delays and autumnal accelerations. Fruiting was as much explained by the effects of bioclimatic variability as by their large-scale spatial patterns. Temperature drove fruiting of autumnal ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic, as well as spring saprotrophic groups, while primary production and precipitation were major drivers for spring-fruiting ectomycorrhizal fungi. Species-specific phenology predictors were not stable, instead deviating from the overall mean. There is significant likelihood that further climatic change, especially in temperature, will impact fungal phenology patterns at large spatial scales. The ecological implications are diverse, potentially affecting food webs (asynchrony), nutrient cycling and the timing of nutrient availability in ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1306-1315
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Early online date14 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • fruit bodies
  • Europe
  • NDVI
  • nutritional mode
  • path analysis
  • phenology

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