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Carles Castaño Soler

Carles Castaño Soler
My research interest is to study how microbial communities respond to disturbances (e.g. tree harvesting, pests, climate change, land use changes), with special focus on fungal communities inhabiting soils. I am especially interested in understanding microbial-driven ecosystem processes that affect nutrient cycles in soils, carbon storage or plant colonization within an ecosystem ecology perspective. A recent focus is to have a better mechanistic understanding of how grazing management, particularly by reindeer, affect plant-soil interactions, with the focus on microbial and chemical mechanisms.


With forestry as an academic background, my first contact with fungi started on 2007, when I worked 4 years as a forest pathologist at the Forest Science Center of Catalonia (CTFC). I expanded my research experience with an internship (Erasmus workplacement) at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, where I learnt several molecular methods while preparing spore trap samples for high-throughput DNA sequencing. On 2015 I started an industrial phD at the University of Lleida about how forest management and abiotic parameters affect soil fungal communities. On November 2018 I came back to the Department with Karina Clemmensen and Sara Hallin to investigate how fungal communities may influence vegetation shifts and how microbes may determine important ecosystem processes such as nitrogen and carbon cycling in soils by using molecular and biochemical methods.


I am involved in other studies about how fungal communities change across fertility or vegetation gradients or how fungal communities are affected by disturbances in forests, grasslands or peatlands from Sweden, Japan, Ethiopia, Spain, Mongolia and UK. A particular specific field of interest is also the study of the ecology of black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) in planted and natural orchards.

Selected publications

Methods papers

Castaño, C, et al., 2020. Optimized metabarcoding with Pacific Biosciences enables semi‐quantitative analysis of fungal communities. New Phytologist, 228, 1149-1158.

Research papers

Oliach, D., Castaño C, et al., 2022. Soil fungal community and mating type development of Tuber melanosporum in a 20-year chronosequence of black truffle plantations. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 165, 108510.

Hagenbo, A., Piñuela, Y., Castaño C, et al., 2021. Production and turnover of mycorrhizal soil mycelium relate to variation in drought conditions in Mediterranean Pinus pinaster, Pinus sylvestris and Quercus ilex forests. New Phytologist, 4, 1609-1622.

Adamo, I, Castaño C, et al., 2021. Soil physico-chemical properties have a greater effect on soil fungi than host species in Mediterranean pure and mixed pine forests. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 160, 108320.

Ylänne H., Madsen R., Castaño C, et al., 2021. Reindeer control over subarctic treeline alters soil fungal communities with potential consequences for soil carbon storage. Global Change Biology, 27, 4254-4268.

Castaño C, et al., 2020. Insect defoliation is linked to a decrease in soil ectomycorrhizal biomass and shifts in needle endophytic communities. Tree Physiology, 40, 1712-1725.

Collado, E.,  Castaño C, et al.  2020. Divergent above-and below-ground responses of fungal functional groups to forest thinning, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 150, 108010

Marí T., Castaño C, et al.  2020. Fairy rings harbor distinct soil fungal communities and high fungal diversity in a montane grassland. Fungal Ecology, 47, 100962.

Castaño C, et al.  2020. Resistance of the soil fungal communities to medium-intensity fire prevention treatments in a Mediterranean scrubland. Forest Ecology and Management, 472, 118217.

Castaño C, et al.  2019. Changes in fungal diversity and composition along a chronosequence of Eucalyptus grandis plantations in Ethiopia. Fungal Ecology 39, 328-335.

Castaño C, et al. 2019. Rainfall homogenizes while fruiting increases diversity of spore deposition in Mediterranean conditions. Fungal Ecology. 41, 279-288.

Castaño C, et al. 2018. Lack of thinning effects over inter-annual changes in soil fungal community and diversity in a Mediterranean pine forest. Forest Ecology and Management. 424, 420-427.

Castaño C, et al. 2018. Temporal and spatial changes in soil fungal communities across moisture and temperature gradients in a Mediterranean pine forest. New Phytologist. 220, 1211-1221. doi: 10.1111/nph.15205.

Castaño C, et al 2017. Mushroom emergence detected by combining spore trapping with molecular techniques. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 83, 1-14. doi:10.1128/AEM.00600-17.

Castaño C, et al. 2017. Seasonal dynamics of the ectomycorrhizal fungus Lactarius vinosus are altered by changes in soil moisture and temperature. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 115, 253-260. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.08.021.

Yurkewich JI, Castaño C, et al. 2017. Chestnut Red Stain: Identification of the fungi associated with the costly discolouration of Castanea sativa. Forest Pathology. 47, e12335. doi:10.1111/efp.12335. 

Oliva J, Castaño C, et al. 2016. The impact of the socioeconomic environment on the implementation of control measures against an invasive forest pathogen. Forest Ecology and Management. 380, 118-127.

Castaño C, et al 2016. Soil drying procedure affects the DNA quantification of Lactarius vinosus but does not change the fungal community composition. Mycorrhiza. 26, 799-808. doi:10.1007/s00572-016-0714-3.

Castaño C, et al 2015. Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 (CHV-1) survey reveals low occurence and diversity of subtypes in NE Spain. Forest Pathology. 15, 51-59. doi: 10.1111/efp.12131. 


Researcher at the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology; Markmikrobiologi
Postal address:
Skoglig mykologi och växtpatologi
Box 7026
750 07 Uppsala
Visiting address: Almas Allé 5, Uppsala