Wood decay capacity of Hypholoma fasciculare (Huds:Fr.) Kummer, Armillaria mellea (Vahl:Fr.) Kummer and Armillaria ostoyae (Romagnesi) Herink.
Armillaria root rot is one of the most important diseases in the Polish forest economy. The main sources of the pathogen in damaged areas are the stumps of broadleaved trees, so control methods require eradication of the pathogen from stumps. Mechanical stump removal is too expensive so the only method possible is biological control. Various other basidiomycetes (Hypholoma fasciculare, Polyporus borealis [Spongipellis borealis], Fomitopsis pinicola, Pleurotus ostreatus and Lentinus edodes [Lentinula edodes]) have already been used against Armillaria in Poland. The main purpose of the work described here was to check the wood decay capacity of an isolate of the saprophytic H. fasciculare (used in biocontrol preparations) and compare it with that of isolates of the pathogens A. mellea and A. ostoyae. The test used well-grown mycelium of each isolate in Kolle flasks and dry wood blocks (1.5×2.5×5 cm) of Betula pendula, Carpinus betulus, Fagus sylvatica, Quercus robur, Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris. Wood dry weight and percentage losses were estimated after 4 months. The H. fasciculare isolate decayed wood of the different species almost 3 times more quickly than the A. ostoyae and A. mellea isolates (which showed no significant differences between the level of decay caused). There were no significant differences in percentage decay between the different wood species, for any fungal species.