Publication Details

Controlling an Invasive Tree with a Native Fungus: Inoculating Ailanthus altissima (Tree-of-Heaven) with Verticillium nonalfalfae in Highly Disturbed Appalachian Forests of Ohio

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Year Published

2022

Publication

Journal of Forestry

Abstract

Highly disturbed forests are commonplace throughout the eastern United States and their residing composition and structure is reflective of their past land use. Management and restoration efforts are complicated by diverse and abundant nonnative invasive plants, including Ailanthus altissima. Verticillium nonalfalfae has been identified as a potential native mycoherbicide option for Ailanthus. To test the efficacy of Verticillium on Ailanthus we designed a study in highly disturbed forests of southern Ohio. At each of five sites, we monitored symptomology, mortality, and rate of spread of stem-inoculated Verticillium on Ailanthus in four inoculated plots and compared it to a control plot. We also monitored native plants for Verticillium symptomology and community responses to Ailanthus control. Our results suggest that Verticillium is an effective tool for controlling Ailanthus with no observed effect on native flora. Further, Verticillium naturally spreads through stands and mortality is slow enough that other resident nonnative invasive plants do not rapidly increase.

Keywords

Mycoherbicide; biological control; tree reproduction; restoration; invasive species management

Citation

Pile Knapp, Lauren S; Rebbeck, Joanne; Hutchinson, Todd; Fraser, Jacob; Pinchot, Cornelia C. 2022. Controlling an Invasive Tree with a Native Fungus: Inoculating Ailanthus altissima (Tree-of-Heaven) with Verticillium nonalfalfae in Highly Disturbed Appalachian Forests of Ohio. Journal of Forestry. 17 p. https://doi.org/10.1093/jofore/fvac013.

Last updated on: May 26, 2022