Mycoparasites and decay fungi: a study of their ecological interactions on wood blocks of Betula papyrifera
Rea, Emily Caitlin
Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry
DisciplineNatural Resources Management
MetadataShow full item record
Decay fungi are an extremely important part of the forest ecosystem and provide essential ecosystem services including the breakdown of complex organic compounds and nutrient release. However, this important group of fungi are predated upon by mycoparasites; fungi which feed on other fungi. This study was conducted to examine the ecological interactions between various mycoparasites on selected species of wood decay fungi in relation to the level of decay observed in birchwood blocks, Betula papyrifera. Four species of wood decay fungi were chosen: Trametes pubescens, Trichaptum biforme, Fomitopsis pinicola, and Piptoporus betulinus to be tested with four different mycoparasites: Gliocladium roseum, Verticillium tenerum, Trichothecium roseum, and Sesquicillium candalabrum. Trametes pubescens exhibited the greatest average percent (%) decay overall with 56.35%, and could only be reduced to 41.68% in combination with Gliocladium roseum. Verticillium tenerum reduced average percent (%) decay to 5.46% when paired with Fomitopsis pinicola, but Gliocladium roseum and Sesquicillium candalabrum were observed to be the most consistent and successful in wood decay mitigation across all treatment combinations. The presence of mycoparasites negatively affects the overall ability of wood decay fungi to breakdown woody compounds, however, some are more successful than others, and some species of decay fungi show great resilience when faced with predation. Both entities perform essential ecosystem services.