BACKGROUND: The impacts of man-made chemicals, in particular of persistent organic pollutants, are multifactorial as they may affect the integrity of ecosystems, alter biodiversity and have undesirable effects on many organisms. We have previously demonstrated that the belowground mycobiota of forest soils acts as a buffer against the biocide pollutant pentachlorophenol. However, the trade-offs made by mycobiota to mitigate this pollutant remain cryptic. RESULTS: Herein, we demonstrate using a culture-dependent approach that exposure to pentachlorophenol led to alterations in the composition and functioning of the metacommunity, many of which were not fully alleviated when most of the biocide was degraded. Proteomic and physiological analyses showed that the carbon and nitrogen metabolisms were particularly affected. This dysregulation is possibly linked to the higher pathogenic potential of the metacommunity following exposure to the biocide, supported by the secretion of proteins related to pathogenicity and reduced susceptibility to a fungicide. Our findings provide additional evidence for the silent risks of environmental pollution, particularly as it may favour the development of pathogenic trade-offs in fungi, which may impose serious threats to animals and plant hosts.