Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Estimating potential emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) populations using ash inventory data.

Abstract

Emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), a phloem-feeding pest native to Asia, was identified in June 2002 as the cause of widespread ash (Fraxinus spp.), mortality in southeastern Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Localized populations of A. planipennis have since been found across lower Michigan and in areas of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, and Ontario. Officials working to contain A. planipennis and managers of forestlands near A. planipennis infestations must be able to compare alternative strategies to allocate limited funds efficiently and effectively. Empirical data from a total of 148 green ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh., and white ash, Fraxinus americana L., trees were used to develop models to estimate surface area of the trunk and branches by using tree diameter at breast height (dbh). Data collected from 71 additional F. pennsylvanica and F. americana trees killed by A. planipennis showed that on average, 88.9±4.6 beetles developed and emerged per m2 of surface area. Models were applied to ash inventory data collected at two outlier sites to estimate potential production of A. planipennis beetles at each site. Large trees of merchantable size (dbh ≥26 cm) accounted for roughly 6% of all ash trees at the two sites, but they could have contributed 55-65% of the total A. planipennis production at both sites. In contrast, 75-80% of the ash trees at the outlier sites were ≤13 cm dbh, but these small trees could have contributed only ≤12% of the potential A. planipennis production at both sites. Our results, in combination with inventory data, can be used by regulatory officials and resource managers to estimate potential A. planipennis production and to compare options for reducing A. planipennis density and slowing the rate of spread for any area of interest.