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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Fungi Vectored by the Bark Beetle Ips typographus Following Hibernation Under the Bark of Standing Trees and in the Forest Litter

Persson, Ylva; Vasaitis, Rimvydas; Langstrom, Bo; Ohrn, Petter; Ihrmark, Katarina; Stenlid, Jan

Abstract

The bark beetle Ips typographus has different hibernation environments, under the bark of standing trees or in the forest litter, which is likely to affect the beetle-associated fungal flora. We isolated fungi from beetles, standing I. typographus-attacked trees, and forest litter below the attacked trees. Fungal identification was done using cultural and molecular methods. The results of the two methods in detecting fungal species were compared. Fungal communities associated with I. typographus differed considerably depending on the hibernation environment. In addition to seven taxa of known ophiostomoid I. typographus-associated fungi, we detected 18 ascomycetes and anamorphic fungi, five wood-decaying basidomycetes, 11 yeasts, and four zygomycetes. Of those, 14 fungal taxa were detected exclusively from beetles that hibernated under bark, and six taxa were detected exclusively from beetles hibernating in forest litter. The spruce pathogen, Ceratocystis polonica, was detected occasionally in bark, while another spruce pathogen, Grosmannia europhioides, was detected more often from beetles hibernating under the bark as compared to litter. The identification method had a significant impact on which taxa were detected. Rapidly growing fungal taxa, e.g. Penicillium, Trichoderma, and Ophiostoma, dominated pure culture isolations; while yeasts dominated the communities detected using molecular methods. The study also demonstrated low frequencies of tree pathogenic fungi carried by I. typographus during its outbreaks and that the beetle does not require them to successfully attack and kill trees.

Published in

Microbial Ecology
2009, Volume: 58, number: 3, pages: 651-659