Scientists & Staff

D. Jean Lodge

Sabana Station, Rt. 988 and 983
Luquillo, PR, 00745
Phone: 787-889-7445

Contact D. Jean Lodge

Current Research

Current research examines:

  • Rebuilding the phylogenetic and systematic understanding of basidiomycete fungi
  • Contributing to the All Taxon Biotic Inventory of the Great Smoky Mt. National Park
  • Fungal decomposer responses to disturbance (storms and silvicultural practices)
  • The roles of different decomposer fungal groups in maintaining soil carbon and fertility
  • Use of decomposer fungi in restoration

Research Interests

I am gathering data on fungal phylogeny that can be applied to biogeography to gain a better understanding of their relatedness to other species, whether related species share similar ecological roles, and how fungi (including invasive species and pathogens) spread and evolve. I am always looking for new or emerging forest disease problems caused by fungi. I am also interested in the fate of soil carbon derived from different fungal decomposition processes (how much is lost to the atmosphere as CO2 or stored, the form, and the function/value to forest productivity), especially in light of their responses to regional and global change.

Past Research

  • Ecology of ectomycorrhizal vs arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in Populus and Salix.
  • Factors controlling fungal diversity in tropical forests & methods for measuring fungal diversity
  • Nutrient cycling by fungi in wet tropical forests.
  • Disturbance and recovery of tropical forest from landslides and hurricanes.
  1. Lodge, D.J. 1989. The influence of soil moisture on formation of VA-endo- versus ectomycorrhizal fungi inhabiting the same root system. Plant & Soil 117: 243-253.
  2. Lodge, D.J. 1993. Nutrient cycling by fungi in wet tropical forests. In S. Isaac, J.C. Frankland, R. Watling, A.J.S. Whalley, Eds. Aspects of Tropical Mycology. BMS Symposium Series 19:37-57. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  3. Lodge, D.J. 1997. Factors related to diversity of decomposer fungi in tropical forest. Biological Conservation 6L 681-688.
  4. Lodge, D.J., Cantrell, S. 1995. Fungal communities in wet tropical forests: variation in time and space. Canadian Journal of Botany. (suppl. 1): S1391-S1398.
  5. Lodge, D.J., McDowell, W.H., McSwiney, C.P. 1994. The importance of nutrient pulses in tropical forests. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 9: 384-387.
  6. Lundquist JE, AE Camp, ML Tyrrell, SJ Seybold, P Cannon, DJ Lodge. 2011. Earth, wind and fire: Abiotic factors and the impacts of global environmental change on forest health in natural forests. In: Forest Health: An Integrated Perspective. 2011. Castello, JD, Teale, SA. Editors. Cambridge University Press. Pp 195-244.
  7. Santana, M., Lodge, D.J., Lebow P. 2005. Relationship of host recurrence in fungi to rates of tropical leaf decomposition. Pedobiologia 49: 549-564.

Why This Research is Important

Molecular methods are increasingly being used to detect forest pathogens and changes in microbial communities in response to disturbance or stress, but use of those methods is dependent on having a strong backbone provided by DNA sequences and phylogenetic trees that are based on them. The All-Taxon Biotic Inventory of the Great Smoky Mt. National Park serves to establish benchmarks for an important forested recreational area that is changing rapidly because of introduced pathogens and insects, air pollution and climate change, while simultaneously providing genetic material for rebuilding the fungal tree of life. Fungi and other microbes regulate the release of nutrients from debris as well as the availability of soil nutrient pools, so determining how fungi respond to storm damage or silvicultural practices is critical for predicting the availability of nutrients for tree growth. Furthermore, different types of decay result in different types of soil organic matter, which is critical in the maintenance of soil fertility and forest productivity. On steep forest slopes, fungi are critical for maintaining leaf litter in place which then protects the soil from erosion, and slows siltation of water reservoirs.


  • North Carolina State University, Ph.D. Botany/Ecology program,
  • North Carolina State University, M.S. Department of Plant Pathology,
  • Kent State University, B.S. Department of Biology,

Professional Organizations

  • Mycological Society of America (2012 - Current)
    MSA Vice President 2012-2013 MSA President Elect 2013-2015 MSA President 2014-2015
  • Puerto Rican Mycological Society (1998 - Current)
  • British Mycological Society (1997 - Current)
    Associate Editor for Fungal Ecology 2009 to present Editor for Mycological Research2001-2003. Planning Committee Member, British Mycological Society, Tropical Rainforest Expedition 1990-1994; co-leader of one of the two expeditions in 2004; co-editor of a Special Feature on the expedition in 1995.
  • Association for the Advancement of Science (1995 - Current)
  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society (1987 - Current)
  • Mycological Society of America (2010 - 2013)
    Program Committee, Biodiversity Committee, International Committee, Editorial Board for Mycologia and Chair of Mycologia Memoirs
    Member of MSAProgram Committee, Aug 2010 to 2013 (Chair in 2012). Member of MSA Program Committee 2003-2006 (Chair in 2005). Chair MSA Membership Committee 2010-2012. Co-chair of MSA Workshop committee 2004. Co-organizer of Mycoblitz in support of the All Taxon Biotic Inventory of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park 2004. Elected MSA Councilor for Ecology-Pathology 2000-2003. Editorial Board for Mycologia 1994-1999. Chair of the Editorial Board of Mycological Memoirs 1995-1999. Chair of the MSA Biodiversity Committee 1999-2001. Official MSA Liaison for Fungal Biodiversity and Conservation 1993-1995. Member of the MSA International Committee 1996-1999.
  • Society for Conservation Biology (2010 - 2013)

Awards & Recognition

  • • Distinguished Mycologist Award, Puerto Rican Mycological Society, 2007 Awarded by the Puerto Rican Mycological Society in recognition of contributions to Mycology in Puerto Rico
  • • Certificate of Merit, from the USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, 2007 For contributing to Fungi of Puerto Rico websites
  • • Forest Service Chief's Award, 2003 For outstanding contributions to biodiversity and mycological research in the tropics
  • • USDA Sectretary's Plow Honor Award, 2002 For maintaining and enhancing the nation's natural resources and environment
  • • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, 2001 Selected for outstanding research and leadership
  • • Fellow of the Mycological Society of America, 2001 Selected for contibutions to the Mycological Society of America and research contributions to mycology.

Featured Publications & Products

  • Lodge, D. Jean; Padamsee, Mahajabeen; Matheny, P. Brandon; Aime, M. Catherine; Cantrell, Sharon A.; Boertmann, David; Kovalenko, Alexander; Vizzini, Alfredo; Dentinger, Bryn T.M.; Kirk, Paul M.; Ainsworth, A. Martin; Moncalvo, Jean-Marc; Vilgalys, Rytas; Larsson, Ellen; Lucking, Robert; Griffith, Gareth W.; Smith, Matthew E.; Norvell, Lorilei L.; Desjardin, Dennis E.; Redhead, Scott A.; Ovrebo, Clark L.; Lickey, Edgar B.; Ercole, Enrico; Hughes, Karen W.; Courtecuisse, Regis; Young, Anthony; Binder, Manfred; Minnis, Andrew M.; Lindner, Daniel L.; Ortiz-Santana, Beatriz; Haight, John; Laessoe, Thomas; Baroni, Timothy J.; Geml, Jozsef; Hattori, Tsutomu. 2013. Molecular phylogeny, morphology, pigment chemistry and ecology in Hygrophoraceae (Agaricales). Fungal Diversity
  • Cantrell, Sharon A.; Lodge, D. Jean; Cruz, Carlos A.; García, Luis M.; Pérez-Jiménez, Jose R.; Molina, Marirosa. 2013. Differential abundance of microbial functional groups along the elevation gradient from the coast to the Luquillo Mountains. Ecological Bulletins. 54: 87-100.
  • Lilleskov, Erik; Callaham, Jr. Mac A.; Pouyat, Richard; Smith, Jane E.; Castellano, Michael; Gonzalez, Grizelle; Lodge, D. Jean; Arango, Rachel; Green, Frederick. 2010. Invasive soil organisms and their effects on belowground processes. In: Dix, Mary Ellen; Britton, Kerry, editors. A dynamic invasive species research vision: Opportunities and priorities 2009-29. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-79/83. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Research and Development: 67-83
  • Desjardin, Dennis E.; Lodge, D. Jean; Stevani, Cassius V.; Nagasawa, Eiji. 2010. Luminescent Mycena: new and noteworthy species. Mycologia. 102(2): 459-477.

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

Undergraduate student Mareli Sanchez and her Forest Service mentor D. Jean Lodge in front of the award winning poster presented by Sanchez at the Mycological Society of America Meeting in Athens, Georgia.

Student mentored by Forest Service scientist receives honor for research poster

Year: 2017

A student mentored by a Forest Service scientist earned the Best Undergraduate Poster Award for research showing that it is the extent of root symbiotic fungi, not root length, that determines nutrient uptake by tree roots.

Forest Service scientist D. Jean Lodge (left) and collaborator Urmas Koljalg from Estonia after collecting soil near a large tropical tree that forms beneficial root associations with mushroom and other basidiomycete fungi in the El Verde Research Area of the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico. Urmas Koljalg, Natural History Museum of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

Temperate and Boreal Fungi Less Sensitive to Climate Change than Tropical Fungi

Year: 2015

Beneficial fungi that help tree roots obtain nutrients from soil are less sensitive to climate in temperate and boreal forests than in tropical forests, but the same is true for root pathogens.

D. Jean Lodge measuring the extent of mushroom mycelia on the forest floor three months after a simulated hurricane treatment in which limbs and leaves were trimmed from the canopy and deposited on the forest floor in the Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico. Josh Brown, University of New Hampshire

Opening the Forest Canopy Slows Leaf Decomposition and Nutrient Cycling

Year: 2015

Forest canopies are opened by thinning, logging operations, and storms. Results of a simulated hurricane experiment showed canopy opening had the greatest effect in slowing leaf decomposition and nutrient release. Losses of nitrogen to ground water only occurred when the limbs and leaves were transferred from the canopy to the forest floor.

Leaf decomposition baskets hold apart the leaf litter layers in a hurricane simulation experiment in the Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico. Leaf decomposition and nutrient cycling were studied in decomposition baskets with screens placed between layers to measure decay rates, nutrient movement between layers, phosphorus retention, and number of mushroom fungal connections between litter layers. Placement of green ‘hurricane' leaves (top layer) over freshly fallen senesced leaves (middle layer) and the forest floor (bottom layer) protected the underlying litter and decay fungi from drying when the canopy was opened by trimming tree branches. D. Jean Lodge, Forest Service

Leaves Left on the Ground After Storm Damage or Logging Lead to Faster Forest Recovery

Year: 2014

Opening a forest, whether by storm damage, tree harvesting or thinning, dries the forest floor and reduces the ability of the litter layer to retain mineral nutrients needed for tree growth. Forest Service scientists and partners found that allowing green leaves to remain on the forest floor in a wet subtropical forest in Puerto Rico compensated for and buffered the litter layer below from the negative effects of canopy opening, allowing the forest to retain nutrients and the tree trunks to grow faster.

Last modified: Thursday, July 24, 2014