Macrofungal diversity of a temperate oak forest: A test of species richness estimators

John Paul Schmit*, John F. Murphy, Gregory M. Mueller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Two 0.1-ha plots, each divided into 10 contiguous subplots, were established in a Quercus-dominated deciduous forest in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Macrofungi were surveyed on these plots at weekly intervals during the fruiting season over 3 years. During this survey 177 species were recorded, including 30 species inhabiting leaf litter, 36 ectomycorrhizal species, 29 non-mycorrhizal soil-inhabiting species, and 79 wood-inhabiting species. This species richness is comparable to, but slightly higher than, that reported by other plot-based studies undertaken in hardwood forests. We compared the ability of seven species-richness estimation techniques to 'determine the true species richness on these plots. While some estimators performed better than others, in general the estimations were too low based on the following year's data and were not consistent from year to year. We found some evidence of spatial autocorrelation of communities of fungi found in adjacent subplots. This indicates that the benefit of using contiguous subplots to increase the homogeneity of the area sampled needs to be balanced against the possibility of underestimating the species richness of an area because of spatial autocorrelation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1014-1027
Number of pages14
JournalCanadian Journal of Botany
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Diversity estimates
  • Indiana Dunes
  • Macrofungi
  • Species diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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