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Master of Science




Dr. Greg Thorn


This study provides the first characterization of the Agaricomycetes of Ontario tallgrass prairies, assesses the influence of various environmental factors, and compares results of aboveground mushroom surveys with belowground high-throughput DNA sequencing. Overall, the Mycenaceae, Ceratobasidiaceae and Polyporaceae were the most abundant, and the Clavariaceae, Entolomataceae and Sebacinaceae the richest in species. Position along a transect (geographic region) was the primary factor differentiating Agaricomycete composition of sites whereas tillage history and soil organic carbon content were secondary. The Hygrophoraceae and Clavariaceae were associated with pristine sites, and Minimedusa spp. associated with tillage. The belowground method captured most of the minor clades found aboveground and several more unique ones. The aboveground method retrieved 74 species and the belowground method 256 OTUs, with only eight shared between them.

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