Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Greg Thorn


The objectives of this study were to identify and to compare the species richness, community composition and genetic diversity of Agaricomycetes in Michigan agricultural soils. Ribosomal DNA sequences were obtained from soils in four treatments: conventional till monocrop, no-till monocrop, historically tilled grassland and never-tilled grassland. The Agaricales dominated the community, with 85 % of all detected taxa. The taxonomic composition of conventional till plots was different from other plots due to the high prevalence of Pneumatospora (Cantharellales) and Lachnella/Calathella (Agaricales) clades and the absence of Hygrocybe (Agaricales) and Polyporales clades. These latter clades dominated less disturbed treatments. Genetic diversity of never-tilled plots was greater than in other treatments. Twenty-seven of the 52 species detected were also detected at this site two years earlier. This rate of re­ detection suggests that the fungal community is relatively stable and that results of DNA-

based survey techniques are repeatable across years.



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