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Title: The influence of satellite populations of emerald ash borer on projected economic damage in U.S. communities, 2010-2020

Author: Kovacs, Kent F.; Mercader, Rodrigo J.; Haight, Robert G.; Siegert, Nathan W.; McCullough, Deborah G.; Liebhold, Andrew M.

Year: 2011

Publication: Journal of Environmental Management. 92: 2170-2181.

Abstract: The invasion spread of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) is characterized by the formation of satellite populations that expand and coalesce with the continuously invading population front. As of January 2010, satellite infestations have been detected in 13 states and two Canadian provinces. Understanding how newly established satellite populations may affect economic costs can help program managers to justify and design prevention and control strategies. We estimate the economic costs caused by EAB for the 10-yr period from 2010 to 2020 for scenarios of fewer EAB satellite populations than those found from 2005 to 2010 and slower expansion of satellite populations found in 2009. We measure the projected discounted cost of treatment, removal, and replacement of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) growing in managed landscapes in U.S. communities. Estimated costs for the base scenario with the full complement of satellites in 2005-2010 and no program to mitigate spread is $12.5 billion. Fewer EAB satellites from 2005 to 2010 delay economic costs of $1.0 to 7.4 billion. Slower expansion of 2009 satellite populations delays economic costs of $0.1 to 0.7 billion. Satellite populations that are both distant from the core EAB infestation and close to large urban areas caused more economic costs in our simulations than did other satellites. Our estimates of delayed economic costs suggest that spending on activities that prevent establishment of new satellite EAB populations or slow expansion of existing populations can be cost-effective and that continued research on the cost and effectiveness of prevention and control activities is warranted.

Last Modified: 8/4/2011


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