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Insects 2016, 7(2), 16; doi:10.3390/insects7020016

Ectomycota Associated with Arthropods from Bat Hibernacula in Eastern Canada, with Particular Reference to Pseudogymnoascus destructans

1
New Brunswick Museum, 277 Douglas Ave, Saint John E2K 1E5, NB, Canada
2
Canadian Wildlife Federation, 350 Promenade Michael Cowpland Drive, Kanata K2M 2G4, ON, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Drion G. Boucias
Received: 12 February 2016 / Revised: 25 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 22 April 2016
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Abstract

The introduction of Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) to North America, agent of white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats, has increased interest in fungi from underground habitats. While bats are assumed to be the main vector transmitting Pd cave-to-cave, the role of other fauna is unexplored. We documented the fungi associated with over-wintering arthropods in Pd-positive hibernacula, including sites where bats had been recently extirpated or near-extirpated, to determine if arthropods carried Pd, and to compare fungal assemblages on arthropods to bats. We isolated 87 fungal taxa in 64 genera from arthropods. Viable Pd was cultured from 15.3% of arthropods, most frequently from harvestmen (Nelima elegans). Fungal assemblages on arthropods were similar to those on bats. The different fungal assemblages documented among arthropods may be due to divergent patterns of movement, aggregation, feeding, or other factors. While it is unlikely that arthropods play a major role in the transmission dynamics of Pd, we demonstrate that arthropods may carry viable Pd spores and therefore have the potential to transport Pd, either naturally or anthropogenically, within or among hibernacula. This underlines the need for those entering hibernacula to observe decontamination procedures and for such procedures to evolve as our understanding of potential mechanisms of Pd dispersal improve. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pseudogymnoascus destructans; cave fungi; Meta ovalis; Nelima elegans; Scoliopteryx libatrix; Exechiopsis sp.; Anatella sp.; entomopathogens; white-nose syndrome decontamination Pseudogymnoascus destructans; cave fungi; Meta ovalis; Nelima elegans; Scoliopteryx libatrix; Exechiopsis sp.; Anatella sp.; entomopathogens; white-nose syndrome decontamination
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Vanderwolf, K.J.; Malloch, D.; McAlpine, D.F. Ectomycota Associated with Arthropods from Bat Hibernacula in Eastern Canada, with Particular Reference to Pseudogymnoascus destructans. Insects 2016, 7, 16.

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