UKTC Archive

Re: Ganoderma applanatum/australe on n.maple - implications

Subject: Re: Ganoderma applanatum/australe on n.maple - implications
From: Annefrank Tree
Date: Dec 23 2011 18:42:34
Dear David,
You are very kind, I do struggle to interpret though. Not strickly related to 
pathogens but may be of some use. 
Gange et al. (2005) Dual colonization of Eucalyptus Europhylla S.T. Blake by 
arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal fungi affects levels of insect herbivore 

 From: David Lonsdale <>
To: UK Tree Care <> 
Sent: Friday, 23 December 2011, 14:44
Subject: RE: Ganoderma applanatum/australe on n.maple - implications
Dear Freidrich,

I am put to shame by all our Dutch-speaking colleagues, who speak very good 
English, while I have the luxury of not being expected to use any other 
language (even when I visit the Netherlands!  I am, however, grateful to 
Gerrit for explaining that there seems to be some inconsistency between 
different countries in the use of technical terms such as "biotroph" and 
"necrotroph".  The situation is even more confusing if there is also a lack 
of consistency in the spelling of the Dutch versions of these Greek words 
(for example, "biotoof" instead of "biotroof").

For a long time, I have been thinking of writing an article about the use of 
terms such as "parasitic" and "necrotrophic" when describing the activity of 
different tree decay fungi.  The recent thread makes me think that I should 
start writing, instead of just thinking about it!  So, if you have some 
useful references about the use of these terms, I would be grateful.


-----Original Message-----
From: Annefrank Tree []
Sent: 23 December 2011 12:15
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Re: Ganoderma applanatum/australe on n.maple - implications

Dear David, 

I have just seen the thread. I'm sorry cause this is not my first language, 
I'm sure there is much I do not comprehend.

I notice Gerrit uses biotroof, I have seen many examples of large 
Institutions using biotoof. I will be please forward them to you if it help 
your research. Could this be consequence of a local accent.

I recognise talk of somthing I am familiar with from elswhere on this forum. 
I think what was disscussed was to propose a possible method of assessing the 
significance of  G. australe/adspersum divorced from observer bias, we must 
however be careful to make a clear distinction between untested hypothesis 
and accepted theory.

I also find interesting the use of the term biotrophic parasite. I had not 
thought in these terms previously, my experience has been largely with 
mutualism and symbiosis. I have read however that such associations exist on 
a continuum of benefit depending largely alterations in environmental factors 
and may sometimes move towards parasitism. Though not proven it would be 
reasonably deduced that should the environmental conditions be restored 
mutualism would once more prevail. This may make an interesting area of 

Freidrich Gorritt

From: Viper Snake <>
To: UK Tree Care <> 
Sent: Friday, 23 December 2011, 10:38
Subject: RE: Ganoderma applanatum/australe on n.maple - implications

Dear David,

Without wanting to complicate things any further, some citations on 
biotrophic and necrotrophic parasitic macrofungi from Scandinavian and Dutch 
literature and my own experience, I would like to have your opinion on, 

- The (biotrophic) parasitic Inonotus hispidus, that grows "on living 
hardwoods" and "dies with the tree" (my words), "is capable of killing 
sapwood (soft rot) in living trees" (Ryvarden & Gilbertson, European 
Polypores I).
- In my experience, the same thing applies to Inonotus cuticularis on Fagus 
and to Meripilus giganteus on Fagus and the 16 other tree species it is this 
far documented from, of which the mycelia of both species also invade and 
cause a soft rot of living tissues.
- The (biotrophic) parasitic Phellinus tremulae "spreads in the inner sapwood 
and inner wood of living trees in the absence of other organisms, indicating 
that it is a primairy parasite in aspen" (Wickström in : Ryvarden & 
Gilbertson, European Polypores II).
- And is Pholiota squarrosa obligate (biotrophic) parasitic or - according to 
Arnolds, et al. : Overzicht van de Paddestoelen in Nederland - necrotrophic 
parasitic, as it dies with the tree and never fruits from dead wood alone, 
which is very exceptional for parasitic Agaricales ?

So how would you label these macrofungi, as obligate (biotrophic) parasitic 
or necrotrophic parasitic ?


biotroof - food withdrawing to live parts of a host.

I think that this simply means that the parasite is obtaining its food from 
living tissues. This is okay as a literal translation of the original Greek: 
"bios" = life / "trophe" = food. I do not, however, think that this 
definition is precise enough to distinguish between a biotroph and a 
necrotroph (just as you implied in your previous message).

In Ainsworth and Bisby's Dictionary of the Fungi (8th edition, CAB 
International), the definition of biotroph is as follows:

"Biotroph: an obligate parasite growing on another organism, in intimate 
association with its cytoplasm."

I think that the Ainsworth & Bisby definition means almost the same as the 
one that I wrote yesterday. I did not, however, use the word "obligate" 
(meaning that the parasite can grow only on the living host; not on a 
non-living culture medium), because I am aware of a few rust fungi (for 
example) that have been grown on artificial media, with great skill and 
difficulty. On the other hand, it is quite useful to use the word 'obligate', 
since this clearly shows that wood decay fungi cannot be biotrophic according 
to the strict definition. They must either be necrotrophic parasites (if they 
invade and kill living tissues) or saprotrophs (if they grow only in tissues 
that are already dead).

I use the definitions from this list (in Dutch) ( ) and to add some more 
information on the subject of tree species specific strategies of parasitic 
macrofungi being part of and co-evolved within a tree species specific 
ecosystem (Keizer, 2007/2011), the following on the tree species colonised by 
Fomitopsis pinicola on the European continent.

I hadn't realised the use of "biotrophic" and "necrotrophic" were differently 
in the UK and on the continent; thanks for mentioning this.

I don't know whether other UKTC members share my unease about identifying 
species of Ganoderma in the field. I would feel happier if each species could 
be shown to have a distinct combination of characteristics (including hyphal 
structure, average spore-size, DNA-based criteria, thickness and hardness of 
the crust and the presence/absence of insect-galls). Perhaps we are wrong in 
the UK to be identifying a large proportion of the Ganoderma on beech as G. 
australe/adspersum. Various fungi do, however, show genuinely different 
frequencies of occurrence between the UK and parts of the near continent. For 
example, we seem to have more G. pfeifferi here. Also, Fomes fomentarius is 
much less frequent on beech (and on other tree species) in southern Britain 
than on the continent. It is more common in northern Britain, where the main 
host is birch.

-----Original Message-----
From: Viper Snake []
Sent: 21 December 2011 19:33
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: Ganoderma applanatum/australe on n.maple - implications

Dear David,

Although there is quite a difference in your definition of biotrophic and 
necrotrophic parasites and the definition of both terms on the continent, 
as is included in all Dutch, German and Scandinavian literature I refer 
to, I consider your definition to be the more precise.

And after always microscopically assessing what perennial species of 
Ganoderma I found on beech in The Netherlands and Germany, I have come to 
the conclusion, that about 95 % of perennial Ganoderma species on beech 
is G. lipsiense, followed by the rare G. pfeifferi and the extremely rare 
G. australe.


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