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Forests 2018, 9(6), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060296

Potential Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer Biocontrol on Ash Health and Recovery in Southern Michigan

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
2
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Lansing, MI 48910, USA
3
Department of Biological Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
4
United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit, Newark, DE 19713, USA
5
United States of Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine, Science and Technology, Buzzards Bay, MA 02542, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding and Managing Emerald Ash Borer Impacts on Ash Forests)
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Abstract

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle that kills native North American ash species, threatening their persistence. A classical biological control program for EAB was initiated in 2007 with the release of three specialized EAB parasitoids. Monitoring changes in the health and regeneration of ash where EAB biocontrol agents have been released is critical for assessing the success of EAB biocontrol and predicting future changes to the ash component of North American forests. We sampled release and control plots across southern Michigan over a three-year period to measure ash health and recruitment to begin assessing the long-term impact of EAB biological control on ash populations. We noted a reduced mortality of larger trees between 2012 and 2015 in release plots compared to control plots and increases in ash diameter, but our results were otherwise inconsistent. Ash regeneration was generally higher in release plots compared to control plots but highly variable among sites, suggesting some protection of ash saplings from EAB by parasitoids. We conclude that EAB biocontrol is likely to have a positive effect on ash populations, but that the study duration was not long enough to definitively deduce the long-term success of the biocontrol program in this region. View Full-Text
Keywords: Agrilus planipennis; disturbance; forest recovery; Fraxinus spp.; invasive species; Tetrastichus planipennisi; Oobius agrili; Spathius galinae; Michigan; tree regeneration Agrilus planipennis; disturbance; forest recovery; Fraxinus spp.; invasive species; Tetrastichus planipennisi; Oobius agrili; Spathius galinae; Michigan; tree regeneration
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kashian, D.M.; Bauer, L.S.; Spei, B.A.; Duan, J.J.; Gould, J.R. Potential Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer Biocontrol on Ash Health and Recovery in Southern Michigan. Forests 2018, 9, 296.

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