Beetles Relationship to Competition
July 27, 2010
Southern pine beetles colonize pine trees and lay eggs in galleries within the tree bark. They line these galleries with spores of a beneficial fungus and a bacterium. Inadvertently, they can also bring along parasitic mites and spores of an antagonistic (competitor) fungus. The antagonist fungus competes to colonize the tree, but carries no nutritional value for the larvae. As the beneficial bacterium spreads, it produces an antibiotic that inhibits growth of the antagonistic fungus.