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Patterns in the within-tree distribution of the emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis (Fairmaire) in young, green-ash plantations of south-western Ontario, Canada

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1 The emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) is a serious exotic pest of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) in North America, and is responsible for the deaths of millions of trees in Ontario and Michigan. One of the greatest challenges facing the successful management of the pest is the ability to accurately detect its presence in a tree.

2 Observations were made on A. planipennis larval feeding galleries found within 65 young, green-ash trees cut from plantations in Essex County, Ontario, Canada. The within-tree distributions of feeding galleries were described in relation to height-above-ground, stem diameter, bark thickness and stem aspect.

3 Galleries were not distributed randomly or evenly; minimum boundaries of stem diameter and bark thickness and a maximum boundary of height-above-ground were detected. Indications of maximum boundaries for stem diameter and bark thickness were also observed. Galleries were found most often on the south-west side of the tree.

4 Using the technique of upper boundary regression, we were able to identify significant quadratic relationships between A. planipennis gallery density and stem diameter and bark thickness, as well as a significant negative linear relationship between gallery density and height-above-ground.

5 Agrilus planipennis gallery density in newly-infested trees was lower than in previously-infested trees, and was observed to peak at smaller stem diameters and bark thicknesses than in previously-infested trees.

6 Survey teams would increase their probability of detecting new A. planipennis infestations by initiating searches for exit holes and feeding galleries in trunk sections and branches of approximately 7 cm in diameter.
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Keywords: Agrilus planipennis; Buprestidae; emerald ash borer (EAB); feeding galleries; within-tree distribution; wood-borers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, 33 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3B3 Canada

Publication date: 01 November 2006

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