Research article

Diversity and prevalence of entomopathogenic fungi (Ascomycota, Hypocreales) in epidemic populations of bark beetles (Coleoptera, Scolytinae) in spruce forests of the Tatra National Park in Slovakia

Silvia Hyblerová, Juraj Medo, Marek Barta

Silvia Hyblerová
Research Station of State Forests of TANAP, 059 60 Tatranská Lomnica, Slovakia
Juraj Medo
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Sciences, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Trieda Andreja Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra, Slovakia
Marek Barta
Institute of Forest Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Akademická 2, 949 01 Nitra, Slovakia. Email:

Online First: June 29, 2021
Hyblerová, S., Medo, J., Barta, M. 2021. Diversity and prevalence of entomopathogenic fungi (Ascomycota, Hypocreales) in epidemic populations of bark beetles (Coleoptera, Scolytinae) in spruce forests of the Tatra National Park in Slovakia. Annals of Forest Research DOI:10.15287/afr.2020.2152

Bark beetles are serious pests for forestry in Slovakia. Their outbreaks may have significant ecological and economic impacts on spruce forests. Effective control of bark beetles is difficult due to their cryptic habits, however, microbial control using entomopathogenic fungi is believed to be a promising alternative to traditional control measures. During 2014–2015, diversity and prevalence of entomopathogenic fungi was studied in populations of bark beetles infesting spruce forests affected by windstorms in the Tatra National Park in Slovakia. Three Beauveria species, B. bassiana, B. caledonica and B. pseudobassiana, together with Metapochonia bulbillosa were identified from 271 specimens of three bark beetle species, Ips typographus, Ips amitinus and Pityogenes chalcographus. Beauveria bassiana was the predominant pathogen and infected all three bark beetle species. Phylogenetic analysis identified three phylogenetic groups of B. bassiana in the evaluated host populations. M. bulbillosa was reported for the first time from bark beetle hosts and Slovakia. The prevalence of fungal infection in natural populations of I. typographus was low and varied between 0.07 and 0.72%.

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