Hardwood injury and mortality associated with two shot hole borers, Euwallacea spp., in the invaded region of southern California, USA, and the native region of Southeast Asia.
Key message: We assessed the impact of the polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB), Euwallacea whitfordiodendrus (Schedl), and Kuroshio shot hole borer (KSHB), E. kuroshio Gomez and Hulcr, on hardwood trees in southern California, southwestern China, and northwestern Vietnam. The highest levels of mortality were recorded from 10 of 39 tree species in the survey, and these were primarily native tree species. Context: Two invasive shot hole borers represent relatively recent introductions in southern California, USA, and continue to spread and cause injury and mortality to several native and ornamental tree species. They originate from Southeast Asia. Aims: Knowledge of tree species susceptibility to these wood-boring beetles is essential to inform better pest management and to evaluate future risk for urban and wildland forests. Methods: From 2012 to 2016, ground surveys were conducted in the invaded and native regions at PSHB/KSHB-infested and PSHB/KSHB-uninfested sites to record levels of tree injury and mortality on native and ornamental tree species. Results: In California, several native species of maple, Acer, willow, Salix, and sycamore, Platanus, were infested by either PSHB or KSHB at high rates (>70%), and comparative rate of infestation by KSHB in all trees and in native trees surpassed that by PSHB, whereas rate of infestation by PSHB in ornamental trees surpassed that by KSHB. Mortality of two maple species caused by PSHB exceeded 20%, whereas background mortality rate of hardwoods was 2% in uninfested areas. Conclusion: These data should inform land managers about the tree species at most risk to injury and mortality, facilitate detection ground surveys, and direct prophylactic treatments for these invasive woodborers.