Doctoral Dissertation

14.12.2018: Conservation of wood-inhabiting fungi is complicated (Purhonen)


14.12.2018 12:00 — 16:00

Location: Ylistonrinne , YAA303
Many wood-inhabiting fungi suffer from the changes caused by forest management. For that reason, the different fungal groups and tree species should be better addressed in the conservation planning. New information about the wood-inhabiting fungi of boreal forest helps to assess the effects of forest management more precisely than before.

Recommendations for conservation should be at least group specific

In her ecology and evolution biology PhD thesis Jenna Purhonen studied, what kind of relationship there was between forest naturalness as well as the quality of dead wood and the diversity of different fungal groups inhabiting standing dead pines, and large grounded dead wood of birches, Norway spruce, Scotch pine and European aspen. Based on the results, it can be estimated on what kind of species or species groups forest management has positive or negative effect.

- Different fungal groups had different responses to forest management history and the response of a certain group depended on the tree species in question. Broadleaved dead wood had communities with higher species richness than coniferous dead wood. However, the species inhabiting conifers suffered most from the forest management. Thus, the conservation of wood-inhabiting fungi should be at least group specific, Purhonen explains.

Unnoticeable is also important

Jenna Purhonen studied also the most poorly known fungal groups.

- I sampled also the smallest species visible to the naked eye and thus got new information from many unnoticeable sac fungi, corticioids and heterobasidiomycetes. This is important, as the current knowledge about the effects of forest management is based mostly on species that are easy to detect, like polypores, Purhonen points out.

Jenna Purhonen defends her doctoral dissertation ”Dead wood and fungi: detection, diversity and conservation in boreal forests" on Friday 14th of December 2018 at 12:00 in the lecture hall YAA303 at Ylistönrinne. The opponent is Associate professor Mari T. Jönsson (ArtDatabanken, Sweden) and custos is Docent Panu Halme (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English. 

Jenna Purhonen has graduated from Jyväskylä Lyseo high school. She graduated with a Master of Philosophy at 2013, and now she is working in the Intervention Ecology Research Group at the Department of Biological and Environmental Science of University of Jyväskylä. 

More information:

The dissertation is published in the Department of Biological and Environmental Science department of University of Jyväskylä. Research Report series with the number 42. Jyväskylä 2018, ISSN 2489-9003, ISBN 978-951-39-7620-0 (PDF), ISBN: 978-951-39-7620-0 (online). Link to thesis: