Seasonal succession of fungi associated with Ips typographus beetles and their phoretic mites in an outbreak region of Finland

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 15
  • SDG 13
  • Abstract:

    The ophiostomatoid fungi (Microascales and Ophiostomatales, Ascomycota) are common associates of Ips typographus, and include tree pathogens and species responsible for blue-stain of timber. Fungal assemblages associated with I. typographus have varied considerably between studies but few investigations have attempted to explain this variation. For this reason, we assessed the overall cultivable fungal diversity associated with I. typographus in a storm-felled spruce forest in south-eastern Finland. Fungi were isolated from the individually collected beetles as well as their phoretic mites in spring, summer and autumn, including different life stages of the beetle (hibernation, dispersal flight and first generation). The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene region was used to identify the fungi. A total of 32 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were found and these resided in four fungal phyla/subphyla (24 Ascomycota, 2 Basidiomycota, 5 Mucoromycotina, 1 Mortierellomycotina) in association with adult bark beetles. Ophiostomatoid species were the most commonly detected fungal associates. A generalized linear model analysis showed a clear association between fungal communities and season, indicating seasonal succession among I. typographus-associated fungi. The season of sampling appears to be an important factor that has resulted in inconsistencies between results in previous studies. Many of these fungi were also found on phoretic mites and their presence or absence could have influenced variation in patterns of association.