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An invasive urban forest pest invades natural environments — Asian longhorned beetle in northeastern US hardwood forests

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An infestation of Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) (Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky)) was detected in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 2008. The discovery of this pest, previously only seen in urban environments of North America, led to the unprecedented establishment of a 243 km2 quarantine zone that included urban parks, neighborhoods, and natural forests. Because ALB behavior in forested stands is virtually unknown, two closed-canopied forested stands (Bovenzi and Delaval) infested with ALB within this zone were sampled during 2008–2010 to document stand conditions, assess ALB host selection, and determine ALB impact on tree growth. Thirty-two percent of the Acer sampled in Bovenzi were infested with ALB compared with 63% in Delaval. In Delaval where three maple host species were available, ALB was found more often in Acer rubrum L. than in Acer saccharum Marsh. or Acer platanoides L. Radial growth patterns did not differ between ALB-infested and uninfested Acer trees in Bovenzi. In contrast, ALB-infested trees in Delaval were significantly older and larger than uninfested trees and exhibited slower radial growth and ring width index patterns compared with uninfested trees. Results suggest that if left uncontrolled, ALB can readily disperse into natural forest landscapes and alter the makeup of North America’s hardwood forest region.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, 271 Mast Road, Durham, NH 03824, USA. 2: Harvard University, Harvard Forest, Petersham, MA 01366, USA.

Publication date: September 29, 2011

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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