Bark beetles are associated with a wide range of microorganisms. Some of these relationships are fairly well understood whereas, others are much more complex. For example, the relationship between bark beetles and stain fungi they transport has been the subject of much debate, with evidence suggesting that this relationship is either mutualistic (fungi help bark beetles colonize living trees by overcoming tree defenses in return for transport to a host) or antagonistic (fungi compete for a limited resource and reduce brood development with no apparent benefit to the beetle). In Wisconsin, Ips pini (Say) transports several species of ophiostomatoid fungi, with the most common being Ophiostoma ips Rumbold (Nannf.). We are investigating the net impact of this association on I. pini. This report describes the effect of O. ips on I. pini performance after the fungi has been allow to colonize red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.). Bolts were inoculated 0, 3, 7, and 10 days before beetle introductions. For each time period we measured development time, gallery length and brood production. In addition, percent coverage by fungi and beetle gallery location were monitored to determine if the beetles avoid fungi-stained wood.
Species 1: Coleoptera Scolytidae Ips pini (Pine engraver)
Species 2: Pinus resinosa (Red pine)
Keywords: bluestain fungi, competition
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