Epps, Mary Jane , Arnold, A.E. .
Diversity, abundance, and nestedness in mushroom-associated beetle communities.
Fungal sporocarps provide habitat and food for diverse assemblages of beetles, but neither the interaction between these insects and their host fungi, nor the effect of sporocarp-associated insects on fungal fitness, is well understood. To investigate factors shaping the structure and diversity of sporocarp-associated beetle communities, we surveyed macrofungal sporocarps and their adult beetle inhabitants across two sites in the Appalachian Mountains and foothills over a three-month period. Examination of 758 sporocarps (>180 species) and 15,404 adult beetles (55 morphospecies) show that the probability of colonization by beetles, beetle abundance, and diversity differ among fungal species and are positively associated with dry mass of the host sporocarp. Although 15 beetle families were recovered, beetle communities were markedly dominated by Staphylinidae (98% of individuals). Sporocarp age (as measured in a focal species, Megacollybia platyphylla; Tricholomataceae) showed no effect on beetle diversity, but was a positive correlate of beetle abundance. Host association data were used to test for non-random structure in the sporocarp-beetle interaction, and we present the first discussion of nested community architecture in the sporocarp-beetle interaction network.
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1 - University of Arizona, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, BSW 310 P.O. Box 210088 , Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA
2 - The University of Arizona, Department of Plant Sciences, Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, 1140 E. South Campus Drive, Forbes 303, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Location: Cottonwood C/Snowbird Center
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM