Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (922 KB)

Title: The role of temperature variability in stabilizing the mountain pine beetle-fungus mutualism

Author: Addison, A. L.; Powell, J. A.; Six, D. L.; Moore, M.; Bentz, B. J.;

Date: 2013

Source: Journal of Theoretical Biology. 335: 40-50.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: As global climate patterns continue to change and extreme weather events become increasingly common, it is likely that many ecological interactions will be affected. One such interaction is the multipartite symbiosis that exists between the mountain pine beetle and two species of fungi, Grosmannia clavigera and Ophiostoma montium. In this mutualism, the fungi provide nutrition to the beetle, while the fungi benefit by being dispersed to new host trees. Multi-partite mutualisms are predicted to be unstable due to strong direct competition among symbionts or natural selection for superior over inferior mutualists. However, this mutualism has remained stable over long periods of evolutionary time. In this paper, we developed a temperature-based model for the spread of fungi within a tree and connected it to an existing model for mountain pine beetle development. Using this integrated model for fungal growth, we explored the possibility that temperature variability is a stabilizing mechanism for the mountain pine beetle-fungi mutualism. Of the three types of temperature variability we tested: intra-year, inter-year and variability due to transitioning between different thermal habitats (thermal migration), we found that thermal migration was the most robust stabilizing mechanism. Additionally, we found that the MPB attack density or spacing between fungal lesions also had a significant effect on the stability of the system. High attack densities or close lesion spacings also tended to stabilize the system, regardless of temperature.

Keywords: Dendroctonus, fungal associates, mutualism stability, overlapping phenology, phenology modeling

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Addison, A. L.; Powell, J. A.; Six, D. L.; Moore, M.; Bentz, B. J. 2013. The role of temperature variability in stabilizing the mountain pine beetle-fungus mutualism. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 335: 40-50.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.