Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Agrilus planipennis
(emerald ash borer)

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Datasheet

Agrilus planipennis (emerald ash borer)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 09 December 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Agrilus planipennis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • emerald ash borer
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • The emerald ash borer, A. planipennis is an East Asian wood-boring beetle that is presently causing dramatic damage to ash (Fraxinus spp.) in the USA and Canada. Since its discovery in 2002 in Michigan, the beetle has quickly spread...

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    compend@cabi.org
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Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire

Preferred Common Name

  • emerald ash borer

EPPO code

  • AGRLPL (Agrilus plannipenis)

Summary of Invasiveness

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The emerald ash borer, A. planipennis is an East Asian wood-boring beetle that is presently causing dramatic damage to ash (Fraxinus spp.) in the USA and Canada. Since its discovery in 2002 in Michigan, the beetle has quickly spread to at least 15 US States and Canadian Provinces, mainly through the transport of infested firewood and other wood products. In about 10 years, it is estimated that the beetle has killed over 30 million forest and ornamental trees, causing significant economic damage as well as serious concern for the survival of several ash species and related biodiversity and ecosystems in North America. The beetle has recently been discovered in the region of Moscow, from where it could invade the whole of Europe. Given its enormous impact in North America, the beetle is now on the alert list of many global, regional and national plant protection and environment protection organizations worldwide.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Coleoptera
  •                         Family: Buprestidae
  •                             Genus: Agrilus
  •                                 Species: Agrilus planipennis

Description

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Eggs

The eggs are light yellow, turning to brownish-yellow before hatching. They are oval and 1 x 0.6 mm. The centre of each egg is slightly convex.

Larvae

The mature larvae are 26-32 mm long and creamy-white. The body is flat and broad. The head is small and brown and retracted into the prothorax, exposing only the mouthparts. The prothorax is enlarged and the meso- and meta-thorax are slightly narrower. The mesothorax bears spiracles. The abdomen is ten-segmented. Segments one to eight have one pair of spiracles each and the last segment bears one pair of brownish serrated styles.

Pupae

The pupae are 10-14 mm long and creamy-white. The antennae stretch back to the base of the elytra and the last few segments of the abdomen bend slightly ventrally.

Adults

The adults are 8.5-14.0 mm long and 3.1-3.4 mm wide. The body is narrow and elongate, cuneiform and metallic blue-green. The species is glabrous, and is characterized by dense but fine sculpture. The head is flat and the vertex is shield-shaped. The compound eyes are kidney-shaped and somewhat bronze-coloured. The prothorax is transversely rectangular and slightly wider than the head, but is the same width as the anterior margin of the elytra. This anterior margin is raised, forming a transverse ridge, the surface of which is covered with punctures. The posterior margins of the elytra are round and obtuse with small, tooth-like, knobby projections on the edge.

Distribution

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A. planipennis is native to eastern Asia, where it has attracted little attention. In 2002, it was found in North America, probably introduced several years before through the port of Detroit, and now occurs in many US States (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin) as well as in the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The spread of A. planipennis in North America is frequently updated in Forest Service USDA et al. (2009). In 2007, it was officially reported from the region of Moscow, Russia. Unpublished observations and the extent of the outbreak in the Moscow region suggest that the beetle arrived there several years earlier (Baranchikov et al., 2008).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 12 May 2022
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Asia

ChinaPresent, LocalizedNative
-BeijingPresentNativeOriginal citation: Orlova-Bienkowskaja and Volkovitsch (2018)
-HebeiPresent, WidespreadNative
-HeilongjiangPresent, WidespreadNative
-Inner MongoliaAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)
-JilinPresent, WidespreadNative
-LiaoningPresent, WidespreadNative
-ShandongPresentNative
-SichuanAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)
-TianjinPresent, WidespreadNative
-XinjiangPresentNative
JapanPresentNative
-HokkaidoPresentNative
-HonshuPresentNative
-KyushuPresentNative
-ShikokuPresentNative
LaosAbsent, Invalid presence record(s)
MongoliaAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)No recent confirmation, possibly an error (Schaefer, 2005).
North KoreaPresentNative
South KoreaPresent, WidespreadNative
TaiwanAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)

Europe

BelarusAbsent
BelgiumAbsent
EstoniaAbsent, Confirmed absent by survey
LatviaAbsent, Confirmed absent by survey
LithuaniaAbsent, Confirmed absent by survey
NetherlandsAbsent, Confirmed absent by survey
NorwayPresentIntroduced1750
RussiaPresent, LocalizedNative
-Central RussiaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasiveIn Moscow region, first observed in 2003.
-Russia (Europe)PresentIntroduced2003InvasiveOriginal citation: Orlova-Bienkowskaja (2014)
-Russian Far EastPresent, LocalizedNative
-Southern RussiaPresent
SloveniaAbsent, Confirmed absent by survey
SwedenAbsent, Confirmed absent by survey
UkrainePresent, Localized

North America

CanadaPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2002InvasiveFirst observed in 2002.
-ManitobaPresentIntroduced2017InvasiveOriginal citation: Emerald Ash Borer Information Network (2019)
-New BrunswickPresentIntroduced2018InvasiveOriginal citation: Emerald Ash Borer Information Network (2019)
-Nova ScotiaPresentIntroduced2018InvasiveOriginal citation: Emerald Ash Borer Information Network (2019)
-OntarioPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2002InvasiveFirst observed in 2002.
-QuebecPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2008InvasiveFirst observed in 2008.
United StatesPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2002InvasiveFirst observed in 2002.
-AlabamaPresentIntroducedInvasiveOriginal citation: Emerald Ash Borer Information Network (2019)
-ArkansasPresent
-ColoradoPresent
-ConnecticutPresent
-DelawarePresent, Localized
-District of ColumbiaPresent, Localized
-GeorgiaPresent
-IllinoisPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2006InvasiveFirst observed in 2006.
-IndianaPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2004InvasiveFirst observed in 2004.
-IowaPresent
-KansasPresent
-KentuckyPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2009InvasiveFirst observed in 2009.
-LouisianaPresent
-MainePresentIntroduced2018InvasiveOriginal citation: Emerald Ash Borer Information Network (2019)
-MarylandPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2006InvasiveFirst observed in 2006.
-MassachusettsPresent
-MichiganPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2002InvasiveFirst observed in 2002.
-MinnesotaPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2009InvasiveFirst observed in 2009.
-MissouriPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2008InvasiveFirst observed in 2008.
-NebraskaPresent
-New HampshirePresent, Widespread
-New JerseyPresentIntroduced2014InvasiveOriginal citation: Emerald Ash Borer Information Network (2019)
-New YorkPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2009InvasiveFirst observed in 2009.
-North CarolinaPresent, Localized
-OhioPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2003InvasiveFirst observed in 2003.
-OklahomaPresent
-PennsylvaniaPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2007InvasiveFirst observed in 2007.
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroduced2018InvasiveOriginal citation: Emerald Ash Borer Information Network (2019)
-South CarolinaPresentIntroduced
-South DakotaPresentIntroduced2018InvasiveOriginal citation: Emerald Ash Borer Information Network (2019)
-TennesseePresent
-TexasPresent
-VermontPresentPresent: subject to official control
-VirginiaPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2008InvasiveFirst observed in 2008.
-West VirginiaPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2007InvasiveFirst observed in 2007.
-WisconsinPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2008InvasiveFirst observed in 2008.

History of Introduction and Spread

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A. planipennis is native to eastern Asia, where it has attracted little attention. In 2002, it was introduced into North America, probably in wood packing material or other wood products through the port of Detroit. It now occurs locally in many US States, Ontario and Quebec and is rapidly expanding its range (Poland, 2007; Forest Service USDA et al., 2009). In 2007, it was officially reported from the region of Moscow, Russia. Unpublished observations and the extent of the outbreak in this Moscow region suggest that the beetle arrived there several years earlier (Baranchikov et al., 2008).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Canada 2002 Yes No CFIA (2009)
Central Russia 2007 Yes No Baranchikov et al. (2008) In Moscow region.
Illinois 2006 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
Indiana 2004 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
Kentucky 2009 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
Maryland 2006 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
Michigan 2002 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
Minnesota 2009 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
Missouri 2008 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
New York 2009 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
Ohio 2003 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
Ontario 2002 Yes No CFIA (2009)
Pennsylvania 2007 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
Quebec 2008 Yes No CFIA (2009)
USA 2002 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
Virginia 2008 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
West Virginia 2007 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)
Wisconsin 2008 Yes No Forest Service USDA (2009)

Risk of Introduction

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A. planipennis has a high risk of further spread in North America, where restrictions have been imposed on the movement of ash trees, firewood, branches and logs from infested to uninfested areas (Haack et al., 2002; Cappaert et al., 2005). The species is featured on the Alert List of NAPPO (see http://www.pestalert.org). There is also a considerable risk that the beetle spreads from Moscow to most of Europe, where Fraxinus spp. are commonly grown in forests and for amenity purposes. In the light of its area of origin and the area where it has been introduced, and of the considerable damage in North America, it seems likely that A. planipennis would be able to survive and have economic impact in many parts of the EPPO region. Control (containment and suppression) would be very difficult to achieve (Baranchikov et al., 2008). On this basis, A. planipennis also features on the EPPO A1 list (OEPP/EPPO, 2005).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Principal habitat
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Principal habitat
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Principal habitat
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Principal habitat

Hosts/Species Affected

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A. planipennis essentially attacks Fraxinus spp. In eastern Asia, several native species are recorded as hosts (Fraxinus chinensis, Fraxinus lanuginosa and Fraxinus mandshurica), but the pest has not attracted particular attention. In North America, where it is introduced, A. planipennis damages native American species, especially Fraxinus americana, Fraxinus pennsylvanica and Fraxinus nigra (Anulewicz et al., 2008; Rebek et al., 2008). In Moscow, it also kills the European ash Fraxinus excelsior (Baranchikov et al., 2008). In Asia, it is said to also occur on Juglans ailantifolia, Pterocarya rhoifolia and Ulmus japonica [Ulmus davidiana var. japonica] (Haack et al., 2002). However, intensive studies to assess the potential host range of A. planipennis in North America showed that, although females may occasionally oviposit on other tree genera, larval development occurred only on Fraxinus spp. (Anulewicz et al., 2008). Cipollini (2015) has recently shown that emerald ash borer can attack and complete development in white fringetree, Chionanthus virginicus.

Growth Stages

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Vegetative growing stage

Symptoms

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The larvae make long serpentine galleries (up to 26-32 mm long) into the sapwood, which enlarge as they grow and are filled with brownish sawdust and frass. Callus tissue produced by the tree in response to larval feeding may cause vertical splits, 5-10 cm long, in the bark above a gallery. Newly emerged adults bore 'D'-shaped (3-4 mm diameter) exit holes on trunks and branches. As the larvae damage the vascular system, attacks cause general yellowing and thinning of the foliage, dying of branches, crown dieback and eventually death of the tree after 2 to 3 years of infestation. Basal sprouting and also the presence of woodpeckers may indicate wood-boring beetle activity. After 1 to 2 years of infestation, the bark often falls off in pieces from damaged trees, exposing the insect galleries.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Leaves / abnormal colours
Stems / dieback
Stems / internal feeding
Whole plant / internal feeding
Whole plant / plant dead; dieback

Biology and Ecology

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Agrilus is a large genus of flat-headed woodborers with species found in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America (Browne, 1968). The larvae typically feed in the cambium of trees or in the stems of vines and small woody plants. The adults are attractive insects with striking metallic colours and are often referred to as jewel beetles. The life-cycle of A. planipennis is described in China by Yu (1992) and Wei et al. (2004, 2007) and in North America by Cappaert et al. (2005), Poland and McCullough (2006), Timms et al. (2006) and Poland (2007). In North America, A. planipennis typically has one generation per year, though some individuals may require 2 years to complete a generation. In China, it completes its cycle in 1 year in Tianjin Province, but it is usually semivoltine in the cooler climate of Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces. In Michigan, USA, adult emergence occurs in late May and early June, coinciding with the accumulation of 230-260 degree days, calculated on a base 10°C threshold (Brown-Rytlewski and Wilson, 2005). After emergence, they walk to the crown of their host tree and feed on small amounts of ash foliage, continuing to feed throughout their life, which lasts about 3 to 6 weeks. Initial flight begins 3-4 h after first feeding. The adults are active from 06.00 to 17.00 h, especially on warm sunny days. Mating starts 5-7 days after emergence. Pureswaran and Poland (2009) showed the importance of olfactory cues in short range mate finding and a contact pheromone has recently been identified in the cuticle of sexually mature females (Silk et al., 2009). Females feed for another 5-7 days before oviposition begins. Eggs are laid individually on the bark surface, inside bark cracks and crevices, mostly in late June to early July in Michigan (Cappaert et al., 2005). Each female lays an average of 50-90 eggs although one female reared in captivity laid 258 eggs (Lyons et al., 2004). The eggs hatch in about 1-2 weeks. First-instar larvae tunnel through the bark to the cambium, where they feed from mid-June to October-November. The larvae make long serpentine galleries (up to 26-32 mm long) into the sapwood, which enlarge as they grow and are filled with brownish sawdust and frass. Larvae pass through four instars (Cappaert et al., 2005). In a univoltine cycle, the mature larvae overwinter in pupal cells about 1 cm deep in the sapwood or outer bark. Pupation occurs in April-May and adults emerge about 3 weeks later. The adults remain under the bark for 1-2 weeks and then emerge through 'D'-shaped exit holes that are about 3-4 mm wide.

In a semivoltine cycle, mid-instar larvae overwinter in the cambium, resume feeding in April and complete development in late summer (Wei et al., 2004, 2007).

 

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
D - Continental/Microthermal climate Preferred Continental/Microthermal climate (Average temp. of coldest month < 0°C, mean warmest month > 10°C)
Df - Continental climate, wet all year Preferred Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)
Dw - Continental climate with dry winter Preferred Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
56 32

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -42
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 2 17
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 23 33
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) -25 3

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration08number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall4001700mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Summer
Uniform

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Atanycolus cappaerti Parasite Cappaert and McCullough (2009)
Cerceris fumipennis Parasite Swink et al. (2014)
Oobius agrili Parasite Eggs Liu et al. (2007)
Sclerodermus pupariae Parasite Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae Yang et al. (2012)
Spathius agrili Parasite Arthropods|Larvae Yang et al. (2005)
Spathius depressithorax Parasite Baranchikov et al. (2008)
Spathius galinae Parasite Belokobylskij et al. (2012)
Spathius generosus Parasite Baranchikov et al. (2008)
Spathius polonicus Parasite Arthropods|Larvae Orlova-Bienkowskaja and Belokobylskij (2014)
Tetrastichus planipennisi Parasite Arthropods|Larvae Yang et al. (2006)

Notes on Natural Enemies

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In Asia, A. planipennis is attacked by a range of parasitoids. Most studies have been carried out in China, in order to find biological control agents for North America (Liu et al., 2003, 2007; Yang et al., 2005, 2006). Eggs are attacked by the encyrtid Oobius agrili, with parasitism rates of up to 61.5% (Liu et al., 2007). Larvae are parasitized by the gregarious eulophid Tetrastichus planipennisi and by a gregarious braconid, Spathius agrili. Yang et al. (2005) measured a parasitism rate of 30-90% by S. agrili alone and Yang et al. (2006) observed a parasitism rate by T. planipennisi of 32-65%. According to Liu et al. (2007), the two larval parasitoids were responsible for a 73.6% reduction in host population. Two braconids, Spathius depressithorax and Spathius generosus were reared from A. planipennis in the Russian Far East (Baranchikov et al., 2008). Predators and pathogens seem rare in Asia (Liu et al., 2003).

In North America, the main natural enemies are woodpeckers, which kill 9-95% of the larvae (Cappaert et al., 2005). Parasitism by native North American parasitoids is usually very low, although Cappaert and McCullough (2009) recently reported high parasitism rates (up to 71%) by a previously undescribed braconid, Atanycolus cappaerti, in Michigan.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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To date, at least six exotic species of Agrilus have established in the USA. Between 1985 and 2000, 38 confirmed detections of Agrilus spp. were made at US points of entry, 28 from dunnage, four from crating, four from grapevine leaves, one from a cutting and one in a ship's hold (Haack et al., 2002).

Natural dispersal

Laboratory studies using computer-monitored flight mills and digital video monitoring of beetles in a free flight room showed that the adults are strong fliers (Taylor et al., 2007). Long-distance flights of several kilometres are possible. However, field observations at outlier sites suggest that dispersal by adults alone is less than 1 km per year, usually 100-200 m per year (Cappaert et al., 2005; Poland, 2007).

Accidental Introduction

Long-distance dispersal occurs through human-assisted movement of plants and wood products (including wood, wood packing, wood chips and firewood) containing bark strips, moving in local and international trade. While it probably came to North America in wood packing material, the rapid spread of the beetle in North America (ca. 10 km/year in Michigan) is attributed mainly to the transport of infested firewood (Cappaert et al., 2005; Poland, 2007).

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Bark arthropods/adults; arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae; arthropods/nymphs; arthropods/pupae Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually invisible
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants arthropods/adults; arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae; arthropods/nymphs; arthropods/pupae Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually invisible
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches arthropods/adults; arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae; arthropods/nymphs; arthropods/pupae Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually invisible
Wood arthropods/larvae; arthropods/pupae Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually invisible
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx
Fruits (inc. pods)
Growing medium accompanying plants
Leaves
Roots
True seeds (inc. grain)

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging liable to carry the pest in trade/transportTimber typeUsed as packing
Solid wood packing material with bark No
Solid wood packing material without bark Fraxinus spp. Yes
Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Loose wood packing material
Non-wood
Processed or treated wood

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Negative
Economic/livelihood Negative
Environment (generally) Negative

Economic Impact

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Trees attacked by A. planipennis are ultimately killed. In China and Russia, A. planipennis typically attacks weakened ash trees, particularly those that grow in open areas or at the edge of closed forests. Entire stands can be killed during outbreaks, but only when American ash species are planted (Liu et al., 2003; Zhao et al., 2007; Baranchikov et al., 2008). Attack densities are highest in the lower bole of host trees (Yu, 1992). In contrast, in North America, A. planipennis has infested and killed trees in both open settings and closed forests and the attacks begin in the upper bole and main branches of host trees. To date, it is estimated that A. planipennis has killed over 30 million trees over the past few years in North America, in particular Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Fraxinus americana and Fraxinus nigra, as well as several horticultural varieties of ash (Poland, 2007; Forest Service USDA et al., 2009). A. planipennis can kill trees of various size and condition (small trees of 5 cm trunk diameter to large mature trees). Tree death usually occurs within 3 years following initial attack although heavier infestations can kill trees within 1 to 2 years (Haack et al., 2002). The spread of A. planipennis in North America is expected to continue, and the economic impact of the invasion is likely to become enormous (Poland and McCullough, 2006). There are more than 8 billion ash trees in the USA alone, belonging to 16 native ash species, among which six are economically important. Ashes are important park, garden and street trees. These trees have to be replaced and there are now fewer viable choices for their replacement. Ash wood is a high-quality material for various special uses albeit not produced on a plantation scale. The undiscounted compensatory values of forest and urban ash in the USA were estimated at US$282 billion and US$20-60 billion, respectively (Poland and McCullough, 2006).

Environmental Impact

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Various species of ash are important components of many broadleaf forest communities in the northern hemisphere. In the native range of A. planipennis in eastern Asia, there is no particular indication that A. planipennis has a significant impact on native forests. However, in North America ashes are being attacked in open situations and in forests, and tens of millions of trees are killed. The long-term environmental impact of this mortality will undoubtedly be very high. Some ash species, such as Fraxinus nigra and F. pennsylvanica, are dominant species of forest ecosystems and play essential roles in ecosystem functioning. Ash forests are likely to show an altered tree species composition and reduced biodiversity. For example, at least 21 moth species feed exclusively on ash, among which several are vulnerable to extinction (Wagner, 2007). Ground beetle species richness is reduced in ash stands impacted by A. planipennis, at least initially (Herms et al., 2008). Preliminary studies also suggest that stands affected by the beetle, either through natural mortality or eradication efforts, are likely to be more invaded by invasive plants (Hausman et al., 2008; Herms et al., 2008).

Impact: Biodiversity

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Ash forests are likely to show an altered tree species composition and reduced biodiversity. Several ash species will surely decline in North America, which, through cascading effects, may have consequences on other components of biodiversity. For example, at least 21 moth species feed exclusively on ash, among which several are vulnerable to extinction (Wagner, 2007). Ground beetle species richness is reduced in ash stands impacted by A. planipennis, at least initially (Herms et al., 2008).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Fraxinus (ashes)No DetailsCanada; USAHerbivory/grazing/browsingPoland and McCullough (2006)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)No DetailsCanada; USAHerbivory/grazing/browsingPoland and McCullough (2006)
Fraxinus excelsior (ash)No detailsRussia (Europe)Herbivory/grazing/browsingBaranchikov et al. (2008)
Fraxinus nigra (black ash)No detailsCanada; USAHerbivory/grazing/browsingPoland and McCullough (2006)
Fraxinus pennsylvanica (downy ash)No DetailsCanada; USAHerbivory/grazing/browsingPoland and McCullough (2006)

Social Impact

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Ash species are important amenity trees in North America, and millions of ash trees have been cut in cities and villages.

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Has high reproductive potential
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Host damage
  • Increases vulnerability to invasions
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Negatively impacts tourism
  • Reduced amenity values
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Herbivory/grazing/browsing
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Detection and Inspection

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The larval galleries and exit holes are characteristic, and are not normally seen in Fraxinus spp. outside Asia. At high densities, other external symptoms include bark cracks, dieback and epicormic shoots. However, detecting trees with low to moderate densities of A. planipennis is difficult using visual surveys because the beetles initially colonize the upper canopy.

Girdled trap trees with sticky bands to capture adults have proven useful in detecting new infestations although the technique is labour intensive, destructive and not ideal for large-scale surveys (Cappaert et al., 2005). Studies are being carried out to discover trapping methods and attractive lures that could be more effective for detection (Rodriguez-Saona et al., 2006; De Groot et al., 2008; Lelito et al., 2008; Pureswaran and Poland, 2009).

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Since the discovery of A. planipennis in North America in 2002, various control methods have been studied and implemented.

Silvicultural Methods

In North America and Europe, A. planipennis attacks and kills healthy trees. Thus, the silvicultural methods to maintain or enhance tree vigour, which are usually applied to prevent the attack of most bark and wood-boring insects are of little value.

To prevent the emergence of adults from dead or cut trees, mechanical destruction of infested trees through chipping, grinding or heat treatment is recommended (McCullough et al., 2007).

Chemical Control

Insecticides can be sprayed on cut logs to kill adults at emergence and sanitize infested logs (Petrice and Haack, 2006). Cover sprays and trunk or soil injections of insecticides can also be used to protect high value urban and shade trees within the quarantined areas, although annual treatments are usually required (Poland, 2007). Effectiveness depends on insecticide products, injection methods, timing tree size and the extent of previous injury. No insecticide seems to provide 100% control, but ash trees can tolerate minor damage by the beetle. In woodland and forested areas, insecticidal control is neither economically viable nor environmentally desirable (Cappaert et al., 2005; Poland and McCullough, 2006).

Biological Control

Three parasitoid species were collected in China, determined to have adequate specificity, and released in North America: the egg parasitoid Oobius agrili and two larval parasitoids, Tetrastichus planipennisi and Spathius agrili (Bauer et al., 2007). At least O. agrili and S. agrili seem to have become established (Bauer et al., 2008) but impacts of the parasitoids have not yet been determined.

The fungus Beauveria bassiana has been found to be highly virulent against A. planipennis, and demonstrated lethal effects in greenhouse and field trials when applied on emerging adults and larvae (Liu and Bauer, 2008a). Foliar and trunk applications in the field were also able to significantly reduce populations of A. planipennis both at newly colonised ash sites and at sites with established pest populations (Liu and Bauer, 2008b).

Phytosanitary Measures

In the USA and Canada, movement of ash material from infested areas is regulated by federal quarantine regulations. Prohibited material includes ash trees, limbs or cut firewood, ash logs and lumber, uncomposted ash wood chips and bark chips larger than 1 inch in diameter. In Michigan, sale or transport of ash nursery trees is prohibited state-wide, and transport of any non-coniferous firewood out of the quarantined counties is prohibited as well (Poland and McCullough, 2006). In various regions in the USA and Canada, eradication cuts have been carried out at outlier sites, consisting of the cutting and shipping of all ash trees within a certain distance of infested trees (Poland and McCullough, 2006; Poland, 2007).

Current regulations, following the IPPC International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15, require that solid wood packaging material be heat treated or fumigated prior to export.

References

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Distribution References

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Liu H P, Bauer L S, Gao RuiTong, Zhao TongHai, Petrice T R, Haack R A, 2003. Exploratory survey for the emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), and its natural enemies in China. Great Lakes Entomologist. 36 (3/4), 191-204.

Liu H P, Bauer L S, Miller D L, Zhao TongHai, Gao RuiTong, Song LiWen, Luan QingShu, Jin RuoZhong, Gao ChangQi, 2007. Seasonal abundance of Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) and its natural enemies Oobius agrili (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) and Tetrastichus planipennisi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) in China. Biological Control. 42 (1), 61-71. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/10499644 DOI:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2007.03.011

Marshall J M, Storer A J, Fraser I, Mastro V C, 2010. Efficacy of trap and lure types for detection of Agrilus planipennis (Col., Buprestidae) at low density. Journal of Applied Entomology. 134 (4), 296-302. DOI:10.1111/j.1439-0418.2009.01455.x

Mastro V, Reardon R, 2003. Emerald Ash Borer Research and Technology Development Meeting. In: Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team, Technology Transfer, https://www.ncrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/misc/Port_Huron_Document2004_all.pdf

McCullough D G, Poland T M, Anulewicz A C, Lewis P, Cappaert D, 2011. Evaluation of Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) control provided by emamectin benzoate and two neonicotinoid insecticides, one and two seasons after treatment. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104 (5), 1599-1612. DOI:10.1603/EC11101

McKenzie N, Helson B, Thompson D, Otis G, McFarlane J, Buscarini T, Meating J, 2010. Azadirachtin: an effective systemic insecticide for control of Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 103 (3), 708-717. DOI:10.1603/EC09305

NAPPO, 2008. Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) in Wayne County, Missouri - United States., https://www.pestalerts.org/official-pest-report/emerald-ash-borer-agrilus-planipennis-wayne-county-missouri-united-states

NAPPO, 2008a. Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) in Fairfax County, Virginia., https://www.pestalerts.org/official-pest-reports?keyword=Agrilus%20planipennis&oprID=324

NAPPO, 2008b. Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin., https://www.pestalerts.org/official-pest-report/emerald-ash-borer-agrilus-planipennis-ozaukee-county-wisconsin

NAPPO, 2010. Phytosanitary Alert System: Update on the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) in Canada - First Report of Presence in Brantford, Ontario. In: Phytosanitary Alert System: Update on the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) in Canada - First Report of Presence in Brantford, Ontario. USA: NAPPO. unpaginated. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=437

NAPPO, 2010a. Phytosanitary Alert System: Sixteen counties in New York added to the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) quarantine area., NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=464

NAPPO, 2010b. Knox and Loudon Counties, Tennessee added to the quarantine area for Emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis)., https://www.pestalerts.org/official-pest-report/knox-and-loudon-counties-tennessee-added-quarantine-area-emerald-ash-borer-eab

NAPPO, 2011. Phytosanitary Alert System: Entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvannia added to the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) quarantined area., NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=484

NAPPO, 2012. Phytosanitary Alert System: Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis): New counties in Kansas and New York added to the regulated areas., NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=536

NAPPO, 2013. Phytosanitary Alert System: Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis): Counties in Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, and Tennessee added to the regulated area., NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=555

NAPPO, 2013a. Phytosanitary Alert System: Emerald ash borer confirmed in Grey County, Ontario. In: Phytosanitary Alert System: Emerald ash borer confirmed in Grey County, Ontario, NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=551

NAPPO, 2013b. Phytosanitary Alert System: emerald ash borer confirmed in the city of Kawartha lakes, Ontario., http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=552

NAPPO, 2013c. Phytosanitary Alert System: Emerald ash borer confirmed in three new Ontario counties: Renfrew county, Northumberland county, and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry., NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=549

NAPPO, 2013d. Phytosanitary Alert System: October 2013 Report: emerald ash borer found in new locations in Ontario and Quebec., NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=563

NAPPO, 2013e. Phytosanitary Alert System: September 2013 Report on emerald ash borer confirmed detections in Quebec., NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=559

NAPPO, 2013f. Phytosanitary Alert System: Updated regulated areas for the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis)., NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=574

NAPPO, 2013g. Phytosanitary Alert System: August 2013 Report on Emerald Ash Borer Detections in Ontario and Québec. In: Phytosanitary Alert System: August 2013 Report on Emerald Ash Borer Detections in Ontario and Québec, NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=556

NAPPO, 2013h. Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis): Counties in Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, and Tennessee added to the regulated area., https://www.pestalerts.org/official-pest-reports?oprID=555

NAPPO, 2015. Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) - Eight Counties and the Oneida Indian Reservation in Wisconsin added to the regulated area., https://www.pestalerts.org/official-pest-report/agrilus-planipennis-emerald-ash-borer-eight-counties-and-oneida-indian

NAPPO, 2016. Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) - APHIS adds Counties in Arkansas to the regulated area in the United States., NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=696

NAPPO, 2016a. Phytosanitary Alert System: Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) - APHIS adds County in Texas to the regulated area in the United States., NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=671

NAPPO, 2016b. Phytosanitary Alert System: Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) - APHIS adds Parish in Louisiana, and Counties in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin to the regulated area in the United States., NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=695

NAPPO, 2016c. Phytosanitary Alert System: Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) - Updated regulated areas in the United States. In: NAPPO, http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=667&keyword=AGRILUS%20PLANIPENNIS

NAPPO, 2016d. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, Confirmed in Thunder Bay, Ontario - Finding is Outside the Regulated Area., https://www.pestalerts.org/official-pest-report/emerald-ash-borer-eab-agrilus-planipennis-fairmaire-confirmed-thunder-bay

NAPPO, 2016e. Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) – APHIS adds Counties in Arkansas to the regulated area in the United States., USA: North American Plant Protection Organization. https://www.ippc.int/en/countries/united-states-of-america/pestreports/2016/12/agrilus-planipennis-emerald-ash-borer-aphis-adds-counties-in-arkansas-to-the-regulated-area-in-the-united-states/

NAPPO, 2016f. Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) – Updated regulated areas in the United States., USA: North American Plant Protection Organization. https://www.pestalerts.org/official-pest-report/agrilus-planipennis-emerald-ash-borer-updated-regulated-areas-united-states-2

NAPPO, 2016g. Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) – APHIS adds Counties in Georgia to the regulated area in the United States., USA: North American Plant Protection Organization. https://www.ippc.int/en/countries/united-states-of-america/pestreports/2016/12/agrilus-planipennis-emerald-ash-borer-aphis-adds-counties-in-georgia-to-the-regulated-area-in-the-united-states/

NAPPO, 2016h. Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) – APHIS adds County in Tennessee to the regulated area in the United States., USA: North American Plant Protection Organization. https://www.ippc.int/en/countries/united-states-of-america/pestreports/2016/12/agrilus-planipennis-emerald-ash-borer-aphis-adds-county-in-tennessee-to-the-regulated-area-in-the-united-states/

NAPPO, 2016i. Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) – APHIS adds Parish in Louisiana, and Counties in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin to the regulated area in the United States., USA: North American Plant Protection Organization. https://www.pestalerts.org/official-pest-report/agrilus-planipennis-emerald-ash-borer-aphis-adds-parish-louisiana-and-counties

NAPPO, 2017. Phytosanitary Alert System: Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) - APHIS adds South Carolina to the regulated area in the United States. In: Phytosanitary Alert System: Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) - APHIS adds South Carolina to the regulated area in the United States, NAPPO, http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=733

NAPPO, 2017a. Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) - APHIS adds County in Kansas to the regulated area in the United States., https://www.ippc.int/en/countries/united-states-of-america/pestreports/2017/06/agrilus-planipennis-emerald-ash-borer-aphis-adds-county-in-kansas-to-the-regulated-area-in-the-united-states-1/

NAPPO, 2018. Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer): APHIS Adds Vermont to the Regulated Area in the United States., NAPPO. https://pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=754

NPPO of the Netherlands, 2013. Pest status of harmful organisms in the Netherlands., Wageningen, Netherlands:

Nzokou P, Tourtellot S, Kamdem D P, 2008. Kiln and microwave heat treatment of logs infested by the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). Forest Products Journal. 58 (44020), 68-72. https://go.gale.com/ps/anonymous?id=GALE%7CA183423302&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=00157473&p=AONE&sw=w

Orlova-Bienkowskaja M J, Belokobylskij S A, 2014. Discovery of the first European parasitoid of the emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). European Journal of Entomology. 111 (4), 594-596. http://www.eje.cz/artkey/eje-201404-0020_Discovery_of_the_first_European_parasitoid_of_the_emerald_ash_borer_Agrilus_planipennis_Coleoptera_Buprestida.php

Petrice T R, Haack R A, 2006. Efficacy of three insecticides applied to bark to control Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). Great Lakes Entomologist. 39 (1/2), 27-33.

Pfister S, 2014. Potential new host for emerald ash borer studied and confirmed., http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAAPHIS/bulletins/d79089

Pureswaran D S, Poland T M, 2009. Host selection and feeding preference of Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) on ash (Fraxinus spp.). Environmental Entomology. 38 (3), 757-765. DOI:10.1603/022.038.0328

Schaefer P W, 2005. Foreign exploration for emerald ash borer and its natural enemies. In: Emerald Ash Borer Research and Technology Development Meeting, Romulus, MI, 5-6 Oct. 2004. [ed. by Mastro V, Reardon D]. Washington DC, USA: U.S. Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. 67.

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USDA Forest Service, Michigan State University, Purdue University, Ohio State University, 2009. Emerald Ash Borer. In: Emerald Ash Borer. Michigan, USA: Michigan State University. http://www.emeraldashborer.info/

Valenta V, Moser D, Kapeller S, Essl F, 2017. A new forest pest in Europe: a review of Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) invasion. Journal of Applied Entomology. 141 (7), 507-526. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1439-0418 DOI:10.1111/jen.12369

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Wei Xia, Wu Yun, Reardon R, Sun TieHuan, Lu Min, Sun JiangHua, 2007. Biology and damage traits of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) in China. Insect Science. 14 (5), 367-373. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1744-7917.2007.00163.x DOI:10.1111/j.1744-7917.2007.00163.x

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Yang ZhongQi, Strazanac J S, Marsh P M, Achterberg C van, Choi WonYoung, 2005. First recorded parasitoid from China of Agrilus planipennis: a new species of Spathius (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Doryctinae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 98 (5), 636-642. http://www.esa.catchword.org DOI:10.1603/0013-8746(2005)098[0636:FRPFCO]2.0.CO;2

Yang ZhongQi, Wang XiaoYi, Yao YanXia, Gould J R, Cao LiangMing, 2012. A new species of Sclerodermus (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) parasitizing Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) from China, with a key to Chinese species in the genus. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 105 (5), 619-627. http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1603/AN12017 DOI:10.1603/AN12017

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Emerald Ash Borerhttp://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/plaveg/pestrava/agrpla/agrplae.shtml
Emerald ash borerhttp://www.emeraldashborer.info/
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
USDA Forest Service North Central Research Station Emerald Ash Borerhttp://nrs.fs.fed.us/disturbance/invasive_species/eab/

Organizations

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Canada: Canadian Forest Service, Ottawa, ON K1A 0E8, http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/

USA: Michigan State University, Department of Entomology, East Lansing, MI 48824, http://www.ent.msu.edu/

USA: Ohio State University, Department of Entomology, Wooster, OH 44691, http://entomology.osu.edu/main.asp

USA: United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 20250-1111, http://www.fs.fed.us/

Contributors

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19/08/2009 Updated by:

Marc Kenis, CABI Europe - Switzerland, 1 Chemin des Grillons, CH-2800 Delémont, Switzerland

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