[Tweeters] FW: Flying Squirrel Results

David Hutchinson flora.fauna at live.com
Tue Oct 29 15:34:25 PDT 2013

FYI - just received this response from Rory Denovan, a local member of the Society for Ecological Restoration in Seattle

Hi David I think you’re on to something here. Thanks for conducting the survey, I’ve been wondering about this for a while too. I suspect that we are no longer seeing the ectomycorrhizal fungi that produce the truffles which the flying squirrels need. Our native conifers and oak, other than Western Red Cedar, have symbiotic relationships with the ectomycorrhizal fungi. Our deciduous trees and Western Red Cedar have symbiotic relationships with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, which do not produce truffles. Here is a website that explains the relationship between trees, fungi and flying squirrels. http://www.chrismaser.com/truffle.htm My concern is that without the flying squirrels or tree voles or other fungivores our forests will not be self-sustaining as we hoped. The risk is that without the fungivore mammals to reintroduce the ectomycorrhizal fungi our forests will not be as healthy and more susceptible to diseases. Mercer Island has already seen a lot of increased incidence of root rots in their forests. We may need to look at patch size and habitat corridors to facilitate the return of beneficial species such as flying squirrels in order for our urban forests to be truly sustainable.

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