What is it about?

Dead wood stoichiometry is shaped by fungi: fungal mycelium, growing into the dead wood, substantially enriches the wood with specific nutritional elements needed by xylophagous beetles. This situation means that fungi create a nutritional niche for the beetles and stimulate dead wood decomposition and that fungi may serve as “nutritional element deliverers” for invertebrates, contributing to the decomposition of wood.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

The study shows the dependence of dead wood eaters on the nutrients delivered by fungi. This dependence is a factor shaping the decomposition process.


During the first few years of decay, dead wood nutritional composition becomes rearranged by fungi. Ingrowing fungal tissues in dead wood are connected to nutritional patches of the environment outside of the wood. These patches may consist of organic matter that is rich in proteins or they may consist of minerals and rocks. Rocks may be diluted by fungi, and are sources of specific atoms utilized to build fungal tissues. Fungi may even “predate” on soil fauna. The acquired nutrients are translocated from the outside of dead wood to the inside through the fungal mycelium. By consuming decomposed wood that is rich in fungal tissues, the dead-wood eater is able to grow, develop and reach maturity. Therefore fungi create a nutritional niche for dead wood eaters, allowing them to undergo growth and development to maturity.

Dr Michał Filipiak
Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Fungal Transformation of Tree Stumps into a Suitable Resource for Xylophagous Beetles via Changes in Elemental Ratios, Insects, April 2016, MDPI AG,
DOI: 10.3390/insects7020013.
You can read the full text:




The following have contributed to this page