Impacts of Fraxinus Population Dynamics and Forest Tree Species Composition on the Distribution of Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis
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The Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) is an invasive beetle responsible for killing millions of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) across North America. With a host species that spans much of the Eastern United States and no natural predators on the continent, A. planipennis threatens to kill millions more ash trees and cost billions of dollars in damage to property owners, taxpayers, and the timber industry. There are methods of impeding the spread of A. planipennis and combating its invasion in current practice, however these methods are not efficient. By studying the spatial and ecological qualities of two infested habitats, it was found that A. planipennis prefers to inhabit ash ecosystems that have a combination of low tree species diversity and clustered ash tree dispersal. This new information can be used by natural resource managers to implement new techniques to slow the spread of A. planipennis.