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Article

Southern Range Expansion of the Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis, in Russia Threatens Ash and Olive Trees in the Middle East and Southern Europe

A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119071 Moscow, Russia
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Academic Editor: Celia K. Boone
Forests 2022, 13(4), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040541
Received: 24 February 2022 / Revised: 23 March 2022 / Accepted: 29 March 2022 / Published: 30 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prediction and Control of Alien Pests)
Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) is the most serious invasive pest of ash trees (Fraxinus spp., Oleaceae) in the world. It has not yet reached the range of olive tree plantations, however it has been shown to complete its life cycle in this host tree. This pest native to East Asia was first found in Europe in Moscow in 2003 and has been spreading ever since. The aims of this study were to determine if the southern border of the range has already reached the Caucasus and to assess the potential range in this region based on host availability and heat availability. In 2021, we surveyed ash trees south to the known range in Russia. We did not find the pest in six cities in the North Caucasus region but found it in the city of Azov close to the Caucasus. Analysis of information about 550 localities of ash trees in the Caucasus showed that Fraxinus spp. is common throughout the region. The calculation of annual growing degree days base 10 °C indicated that the places where Fraxinus spp. grow above 1500 m are too cold for A. planipennis and therefore could potentially become a refuge for ash trees. The spread of A. planipennis to the Caucasus is of concern. First, the forest ecosystems of this region are endangered, since European ash Fraxinus excelsior is much more common there than in the currently infested regions in Russia. Second, the Russian Caucasus can become the gateway to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and other countries of the Middle East and Southern Europe. We propose using Fraxinus angustifolia, F. ornus and Olea europaea growing in the Caucasus and adjacent regions as sentinel trees for the monitoring and pest risk assessment of these tree species. View Full-Text
Keywords: invasive pest; EAB; Fraxinus excelsior; Fraxinus angustifolia; Fraxinus ornus; Olea europaea; Caucasus; Russia; Armenia; Georgia; Azerbaijan invasive pest; EAB; Fraxinus excelsior; Fraxinus angustifolia; Fraxinus ornus; Olea europaea; Caucasus; Russia; Armenia; Georgia; Azerbaijan
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MDPI and ACS Style

Orlova-Bienkowskaja, M.J.; Bieńkowski, A.O. Southern Range Expansion of the Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis, in Russia Threatens Ash and Olive Trees in the Middle East and Southern Europe. Forests 2022, 13, 541. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040541

AMA Style

Orlova-Bienkowskaja MJ, Bieńkowski AO. Southern Range Expansion of the Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis, in Russia Threatens Ash and Olive Trees in the Middle East and Southern Europe. Forests. 2022; 13(4):541. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040541

Chicago/Turabian Style

Orlova-Bienkowskaja, Marina J., and Andrzej O. Bieńkowski. 2022. "Southern Range Expansion of the Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis, in Russia Threatens Ash and Olive Trees in the Middle East and Southern Europe" Forests 13, no. 4: 541. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040541

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