Forest Tree Species Restoration

Forest Tree Species Restoration

The frequent introduction of non-native invasive insects and pathogens is causing significant ecological damage to forests worldwide. In the U.S. the introductions of forests pests, for example hemlock woolly adelgid, white pine blister rust, Dutch elm disease, and chestnut blight, have had tremendous impacts not only on the individual host species, through wide-scale mortality, but also the forests that are home to those species, through disruption of ecosystem processes (e.g. nutrient cycling). Numerous genetic resistance programs have been established to identity and/or develop populations of tree species with resistance to their respective pests and pathogens. These projects involve finding individuals with natural resistance to the disease of interest, and/or introducing resistance to populations through breeding. Once populations of insect/disease resistant trees are developed, the next component is reintroducing those trees back into the landscape. This is a tremendous effort that requires understanding how to match the ecology of the tree species with management of the planting site. And understanding how reintroducing the species will affect local ecosystems. The Northern Research Station has scientists involved in all aspects of species restoration, working with numerous tree species, including American beech, American elm, American chestnut, black walnut, and several ash species. The goal is to bring these species back to facilitate the recovery of healthy forests.

 




Last Modified: August 27, 2019