Scientific publications

K. Yakovlev.
Coleoptera associated with polypore fungi in Koitajoki-area
// Biodiversity of Fennoscandia (diversity, human impact, nature conservation). Petrozavodsk: Karelian Research Centre of RAS, 1997.
Saproxylic insects defined by Speight (1989) as those that are dependent, during some part of their life cycle, upon the dead or dying wood of moribund or dead trees (standing or fallen), or upon wood-inhabiting fungi, or upon the presence of other saproxylics - are the target group for the estimation of conservation value of forest biotopes.

Since 1993, I assisted in the sampling of Coleoptera in old growth forests in North Karelian Biosphere reserve at Koitajoki area, Eastern Finland. During the short-time visits of the study area in the summer time I have been collecting all beetle individuals observed on fruiting bodies of wood-growing fungi and myxomycetes in the sample sites at Tapionaho, Niemijarvi, Koitajoki, Lahnavaara, Hoikka and Pieni-Kotavaara. At the moment, a part of the material (as a whole 259 individuals of 52 species of 26 Coleoptera family groups) are identified to species.

Only a few polypore species, common in the area were checked. Fomes fomentarius - the most distributed polypore species harbours the most diverse beetle group of 41 species. (of these 23 species were found only on this fungus), the second common fungus - Fomitopsis pinicola maintaining 18 and the third abundant Piptoporus betulinus - four species of Coleoptera.

Among the beetles collected on two species of wood-growing gilled fungi - Pleurotus pulmonarius (order Polyporales) and Armillaria mellea (Agaricales) hardly identified staphylinids of the subfamily Aleocharinae were the most abundant. Besides them on the Pleurotus seven, and on Armillaria -six beetle species were found. Myxomycetes occured on fallen trunks seem to be a substrat where several species of Leiodidae (Anisotoma, Agathidium) should be easily found.

The material contained records of five species included in the Finnish list of threatened animals (Rassi et al., 1991). All of them were represented with single individuals recorded only from Fomitopsis pinicola: Peltis grossa (Trogossitidae), Fomes fomentarius: Melandrya dubia (Melandryidae) and Pleurotus: Cyllodes ater (Nitidulidae), Triplax rufipes (Erotylidae). Mycetophagus quadripustulatus (Mycetophagidae) were found both on Fomes and Pleurotus.

These materials could be compared with those obtained with trunk-window traps attached to sporocarps of polypores at the same sample sites (Yakovlev, Nikitsky, Scherbakov, 1997). Number of individuals (2633) in the trap-catches was about ten times and number of species - 3,2 times more than those obtained with hand-picking. Hence, the increasing of species richness obtained with window-trapping is not proportional directly the number of individuals caught. Moreover, almost all species considered as threatened in Finland were found using hand-picking, inspite of considerably less sampling effort. More vast collecting insects on fungal sporophores in quantities enough for statistical treatment could provide us with data for host-preferences of beetle species associated with them. Hand-picking method could be employed as a basic method in short expeditions for express-estimation of conservation value of forest biotopes situated far from the roads, where window-trapping and other mass-collecting methods seem to be difficult to arrange.
Last modified: November 20, 2006