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Insects 2012, 3(1), 200-227; doi:10.3390/insects3010200

Associations of Conifer-Infesting Bark Beetles and Fungi in Fennoscandia

Department of Biology, Section of Biodiversity and Environmental Science, University of Turku, Turku 20014, Finland
Faculty of Science and Forestry, School of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 111, Joensuu 80101, Finland
Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 January 2012 / Revised: 10 January 2012 / Accepted: 17 January 2012 / Published: 15 February 2012
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Bark beetles (Coleoptera, Scolytinae) have a widespread association with fungi, especially with ophiostomatoid fungi (Ascomycota) that cause blue staining of wood, and in some cases, serious tree diseases. In Fennoscandia, most studies of these fungi have focused on economically important bark beetle species and this is likely to have led to a biased view of the fungal biodiversity in the region. Recently, the associations between fungi and bark beetles in Fennoscandia have been shown to be more diverse than previously thought. Furthermore, they form complex and dynamic associations that are only now beginning to emerge. This review examines the current knowledge of the rather poorly known interactions between bark beetles, fungi and their conifer host trees in Fennoscandia. The diversity of ophiostomatoid species is discussed and the possible factors that influence the assemblages of fungal associates are considered for all species that are known to occur in the region. For many ophiostomatoid species found in Fennoscandia, little or nothing is known regarding their pathogenicity, particularly if they were to be transferred to new environments. We, therefore, draw attention to the possible threats of timber trade and climate change-induced invasions of new habitats by bark beetles and the fungi that can be moved along with them.
Keywords: bark beetles; blue stain; insect-fungus interactions; ophiostomatoid fungi bark beetles; blue stain; insect-fungus interactions; ophiostomatoid fungi

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Linnakoski, R.; de Beer, Z.W.; Niemelä, P.; Wingfield, M.J. Associations of Conifer-Infesting Bark Beetles and Fungi in Fennoscandia. Insects 2012, 3, 200-227.

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