Effect of Light Conditions on Abundance of Fungi Growth
Fungi play a vital role in the decomposition of organic matter and the transformation of key nutrients (Starke, 2020). Although fungi have a crucial place in ecosystem dynamics, factors which influence species distribution patterns are poorly understood (Tedersoo, 2014). This study aims to better understand how light affects fungi growth in coastal temperate forests. In this study, fungi growth was observed at the Botanical Garden at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Data was collected and used to calculate the mean number of fungi and average light intensity at four different locations (North, South, East, West) from the center of Wharton Glade. It was found that the highest mean number of fungi were in the southern quadrant, which had medium light intensity (2100-6300 lux). This finding is contradictory to contemporary research on this topic which identifies that fungi typically grow optimally under low light conditions (Idnurm, 2005; Simon, 2013). A potential source of error was generalizing a variation of fungi species as “fungi”. Moreover, fungi species were counted one month prior to the measurement of light intensity. Future research on this topic should consider the effect of other abiotic factors on fungal growth such as soil pH, moisture, temperature, and season.