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IS-AUR-Samarb.progr. Norge Frankrike

Dynamics of deadwood decompostion tempo by forest fungi

Awarded: NOK 0.10 mill.

In forests, wood is an essential component of carbon and nitrogen cycling and serves as habitat and resources for organisms like fungi, bacteria, insects. Saprotrophic fungi having powerful enzymatic and non-enzymatic mechanisms are key decomposers of the lignocellulosic complex in wood, affecting carbon sequestration in deadwood. Therefore, understanding the dynamics of deadwood decomposition by fungi is a key piece of the jigsaw for assessing how fungi contribute to the global carbon cycling. In the AURORA collaborative project, we will assess the underlying genetic and functional basis of assembly history (i.e the order species enter the decomposition process), and co-occurrences of fungi during the decomposition process. To address this objective, we will focus on polypore fungi, a group of saprotrophic fungi studied by both partners. We aim to combine existing data generated from past/current projects from the French partner expert in the annotation of fungal genomes for enzymes active on lignocellulose and the Norwegian partner specialized in ecology and conservation of polypore fungi in boreal forest. By involving students and early-career researchers, we will transfer technical skills and homogenize protocols across laboratories that will help authentication and traceability of genome sequenced polypore fungi being used as reference genomes. The ultimate objective of DynamForest is to initiate a European consortium, by regrouping a core team of researchers, stakeholders and relevant SMEs to focus on developing applied scientific ideas and writing large collaborative research projects for a better understanding of the dynamics of fungal communities and their enzymatic functions in biomass decay. DynamForest will generate new knowledge on the importance of assembly history in decomposition, which are important data for forest carbon modeling and ultimately for decision making relative to carbon sequestration and mitigation of global climate change.

Funding scheme:

IS-AUR-Samarb.progr. Norge Frankrike