Fungal litter-trapping in tropical rainforests

21 December 2011

Biology Letters

Jake L. Snaddon, Edgar C. Turner, Tom M. Fayle, Chey V. Khen, Paul Eggleton and William A. Foster doi:10.1098/rsbl.2011.1115

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The exceptionally high species richness of arthropods in tropical rainforests hinges on the complexity of the forest itself: that is, on features such as the high plant diversity, the layered nature of the canopy and the abundance and the diversity of epiphytes and litter. We here report on one important, but almost completely neglected, piece of this complex jigsaw—the intricate network of rhizomorph-forming fungi that ramify through the vegetation of the lower canopy and intercept falling leaf litter.