Katarina Hedlund. Foto.

Katarina Hedlund


Katarina Hedlund. Foto.

Patchiness and compensatory growth in a fungus-Collembola system


  • Göran Bengtsson
  • Katarina Hedlund
  • Sten Rundgren

Summary, in English

The compensatory growth potential of a grazed fungal biomass was mathematically expressed as a function of patchiness in its distribution and demonstrated in an experiment using the fungivorous collembolan Onychiurus armatus and the soil fungi Verticillium bulbillosum and Penicillium spinulosum. The model addresses the regrowth potential in relation to patch fragmentation, travelling time and consumption rate of the collembolan and the mean relative growth rate of the fungus. It suggests that the mean relative growth rate required for regrowth decreases with patch fragmentation and increases with the mean growth rate of the fungus. The experiments were performed with a system of soil-filled vials provided with fungi and collembolans. The size of the vials and the length of the tubes connecting them were varied to give different patch sizes and travelling times. The respiratory activity of fungi after grazing increased as a unit of mycelium was distributed into smaller connected vials. The slow growing species V. bulbillosum showed a greater but delayed response to grazing in comparison with the fast growing P. spinulosum. An increased travelling time delayed the growth response in both species.


  • Ecology


  • Collembola
  • Foraging
  • Fungivore
  • Growth compensation
  • Patchiness




  • ISSN: 0029-8549