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Beetles provide directed dispersal of viable spores of a keystone wood decay fungus.

Lunde, Lisa Fagerli, Boddy, Lynne ORCID:, Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne, Jacobsen, Rannveig M., Kauserud, Håvard and Birkemoe, Tone 2023. Beetles provide directed dispersal of viable spores of a keystone wood decay fungus. Fungal Ecology 63 , pp. 1-7. 10.1016/j.funeco.2023.101232

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Wood decay fungi are considered to be dispersed by wind, but dispersal by animals may also be important, and more so in managed forests where dead wood is scarce. We investigated whether beetles could disperse spores of the keystone species Fomitopsis pinicola. Beetles were collected on sporocarps and newly felled spruce logs, a favourable habitat for spore deposition. Viable spores (and successful germination) of F. pinicola were detected by dikaryotization of monokaryotic bait mycelium from beetle samples. Viable spores were on the exoskeleton and in the faeces of all beetles collected from sporulating sporocarps. On fresh spruce logs, nine beetle species transported viable spores, of which several bore into the bark. Our results demonstrate that beetles can provide directed dispersal of wood decay fungi. Potentially, it could contribute to a higher persistence of some species in fragmented forests where spore deposition by wind on dead wood is less likely.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1754-5048
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 April 2023
Date of Acceptance: 22 November 2022
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:14

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