The effects of road salt on mushroom-forming saprotrophic fungi
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Saprotropic Fungi are valuable members of ecosystems for their role in nutrient cycling and ability to degrade and/or sequester environmental pollutants. This study explores the effect road salt may have on the growth and ecological functionality of mushroom-forming primary decomposers of lignin in oak trees through the increase of substrate salinity and thus lowered water potential. A significant negative response to increased levels of substrate salinity was seen through measures of radial mycelial growth and extrecellular enzyme activity. These finding call for research into other means of road deicing that do not hinder the role of fungi.