Optimizing use of girdled ash trees for management of low-density emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) populations
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Journal of Economic Entomology
Effective survey methods to detect and monitor recently established, low-density infestations of emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), remain a high priority because they provide land managers and property owners with time to implement tactics to slow emerald ash borer population growth and the progression of ash mortality. We evaluated options for using girdled ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees for emerald ash borer detection and management in a low-density infestation in a forested area with abundant green ash (F. pennsylvanica). Across replicated 4-ha plots, we compared detection efficiency of 4 versus 16 evenly distributed girdled ash trees and between clusters of 3 versus 12 girdled trees. We also examined within-tree larval distribution in 208 girdled and nongirdled trees and assessed adult emerald ash borer emergence from detection trees felled 11mo after girdling and left on site. Overall, current-year larvae were present in 85–97% of girdled trees and 57–72% of nongirdled trees, and larval density was 2–5 times greater on girdled than nongirdled trees. Low-density emerald ash borer infestations were readily detected with four girdled trees per 4-ha, and 3-tree clusters were as effective as 12-tree clusters. Larval densities were greatest 0.5±0.4 m below the base of the canopy in girdled trees and 1.3±0.7 m above the canopy base in nongirdled trees. Relatively few adult emerald ash borer emerged from trees felled 11mo after girdling and left on site through the following summer, suggesting removal or destruction of girdled ash trees may be unnecessary. This could potentially reduce survey costs, particularly in forested areas with poor accessibility.
Siegert, Nathan W.; McCullough, Deborah G.; Poland, Therese M.; Heyd, Robert L. 2017. Optimizing use of girdled ash trees for management of low-density emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) populations. Journal of Economic Entomology. 110(3): 1096-1106. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/tox092.