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Evaluating Adaptive Management Options for Black Ash Forests in the Face of Emerald Ash Borer Invasion

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Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, 204e Aiken Center, 81 Carrigan Drive, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
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USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, 1831 Hwy 169 East, Grand Rapids, MN 55744, USA
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Minnesota Forest Resources Council, 1530 Cleveland Ave. North, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 101 S. Webster St., Madison, WI 53703, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(6), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060348
Received: 18 April 2018 / Revised: 9 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding and Managing Emerald Ash Borer Impacts on Ash Forests)
The arrival and spread of emerald ash borer (EAB) across the western Great Lakes region has shifted considerable focus towards developing silvicultural strategies that minimize the impacts of this invasive insect on the structure and functioning of black ash (Fraxinus nigra) wetlands. Early experience with clearcutting in these forests highlighted the risks of losing ash to EAB from these ecosystems, with stands often retrogressing to marsh-like conditions with limited tree cover. Given these experiences and an urgency for increasing resilience to EAB, research efforts began in north-central Minnesota in 2009 followed by additional studies and trials in Michigan and Wisconsin to evaluate the potential for using regeneration harvests in conjunction with planting of replacement species to sustain forested wetland habitats after EAB infestations. Along with these more formal experiments, a number of field trials and demonstrations have been employed by managers across the region to determine effective ways for reducing the vulnerability of black ash forest types to EAB. This paper reviews the results from these recent experiences with managing black ash for resilience to EAB and describes the insights gained on the ecological functioning of these forests and the unique, foundational role played by black ash. View Full-Text
Keywords: black ash; adaptive silviculture; emerald ash borer; Lake States; hydrology; habitat type black ash; adaptive silviculture; emerald ash borer; Lake States; hydrology; habitat type
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D’Amato, A.W.; Palik, B.J.; Slesak, R.A.; Edge, G.; Matula, C.; Bronson, D.R. Evaluating Adaptive Management Options for Black Ash Forests in the Face of Emerald Ash Borer Invasion. Forests 2018, 9, 348.

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