Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology

Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


Our research focuses on decomposer organisms, primarily fungi, and is driven by a demand to increase understanding of organic matter turnover in ecosystems.

Respiration measurements of decomposing pine needles colonized by Mycena epipterygia (photo by Johanna Boberg).

The rate limiting factor for degradation of organic macromolecules is the activity of extracellular enzymes, produced by micro-organisms. In order to understand how the production of degrading enzymes is regulated by abiotic and biotic factors in the environment, we need a better knowledge on the identity, genetics and basic eco-physiology of the microorganisms that produce enzymes.

With the ultimate aim to better understand factors regulating carbon sequestration, nutrient circulation and ecosystem production, we study how microorganisms interact with wood, litter components, crop residues and soil organic matter. Genome sequencing and expression analyses reveal mechanisms behind polymer degradation in different substrates. The unique capacity of fungi to transport resources in their mycelia has important implications for decomposition. In boreal and arctic ecosystems, we investigate the potential of ectomycorrhizal fungi to transport carbohydrates from living roots to power degradation of recalcitrant organic matter in soils. Another line of research focuses on degradation of crop residues in relation to crop protection and sustainable food production in developing countries.

Decomposition processes are investigated in laboratory microcosms as well as directly in the field. Our methods include tracer isotopes (13C and 15N), 14C dating, enzyme assays and molecular community analyses by 454-sequencing and qPCR, as well as genome and gene expression analyses.

Our projects:

Competition between the mycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungal communities of boreal forest soils - Erica Sterkenburg, Karina ClemmensenRoger Finlay & Björn Lindahl

Decomposition of fungal mycelium in boreal forest soil - Petra Fransson, Björn Lindahl, Shahid Mahmood & Roger Finlay

Factors behind soil quality in coniferous forests - Marianne Clarholm, Björn Lindahl, Anna Rosling

Functional ecology of rice straw decomposition - Do Thi Xuan, Nils Högberg, Anna Rosling, Sadhna Alström

Functioning of litter decomposing fungi in carbon and nitrogen circulation in boreal forests - Johanna Boberg, Jan Stenlid, Roger Finlay & Björn Lindahl

Fungal peroxidases involved in the degradation of recalcitrant organic matter in boreal forest ecosystems - Inga Bödeker, Karina Clemmensen, Åke Olson & Björn Lindahl

Fungal successions in a long-term boreal forest chronosequence - Karina Clemmensen, Björn Lindahl, Anders Dahlberg, Jan Stenlid & Roger Finlay

The effect of composts amended with a biocontrol agent on microbial community in rambutan - Do Thi Xuan, Nils Högberg, Anna Rosling, Sadhna Alström

The Serpula lacrymans genome project - Nils Högberg, Anna Rosling & Jan Stenlid 

Tree-fungi-soil interactions in the subarctic-alpine forest-heath ecotone - Karina Clemmensen & Björn Lindahl

Saprotrophic growth of plant pathogens - Hanna Friberg

Succession of wood-inhabiting fungal communities in decaying Norway spruce logs - Elisabet Eriksson, Ariana Kubartóva, Anders Dahlberg & Jan Stenlid

Successional changes of microbial communities in compost ecosystems - Nils Högberg

Wood decaying fungi in boreal forests: communities and activity - Ariana Kubartova, Elisabet Eriksson, Anders Dahlberg & Jan Stenlid



Roger Finlay (professor)
Marianne Clarholm (professor)
Jan Stenlid (professor)
Björn Lindahl (researcher)
Nils Högberg (researcher)
Sadhna Alström (researcher)
Petra Fransson (researcher)
Anna Rosling (researcher)
Åke Olson (researcher)
Johanna Boberg (post-doc)
Karina Clemmensen (post-doc)
Ariana Kubartóva (post-doc)
Shahid Mahmood (post-doc)
Hanna Friberg (post-doc)
Inga Bödeker (PhD-student)
Elisabet Eriksson (PhD-student)
Erica Sterkenburg (PhD-student)
Xuan Do Thi (PhD-student)


Fruitbody of Mycena epipterygia growing on pine needles (Picture by Cajsa Lithell)





























Page updated: 2013-04-26. Page editor:

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