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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Biocontrol and Other Technologies for Control of Invasive Species, with Emphasis on Asian Longhorned Beetle and Related Species

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Investigate the behavioral ecology of host selection and colonization, and the process of invasion of invasive insect pest species of natural ecosystems, including Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), and other invasive species such as Citrus Longhorned Beetle (CLB).

2. Discover and identify exotic natural enemies of the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) and other invasive species such as Citrus Longhorned Beetle (CLB) of natural ecosystems, and evaluate their host specificity, host searching ability and efficacy as potential biological control agents within the United States.

3. Discover and identify native natural enemies of the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) and other invasive species such as Citrus Longhorned Beetle (CLB), and evaluate their biology, ecology and efficacy as biological control agents within the United States, including development of surrogate rearing systems for natural enemies, as needed for APHIS eradication programs.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
1.1.a. We will conduct a series of a series of field experiments to determine the distance A. glabripennis are attracted to Acer mono (Painted Maple). Potted A. mono saplings will be systematically positioned at varying distances from adult beetle infested trees in ALB infestations. Adult beetles will be collected, uniquely marked and released onto infested trees at predetermined distances from the potted A. mono, which will then be checked daily and the marked beetles identified and counted, and referenced to the position of release as a measure of attractive distance (attractive radius). Effects of positioning A. mono within vs. adjacent to infested landscapes will be evaluated in closed canopy, patch/clumped and open canopy landscapes to optimize detection of ALB using A. mono sentinel trees and provide landscape-specific guidelines for implementation in the U.S., Canada and Europe. 1.1.b. We will conduct a series of field experiments to develop an artificial lure for detection of adult ALB. We will determine the relative attraction of ALB to: (1) traps baited with different formulations and dosages; (2) trap position within host trees; (3) trap position within landscapes; and (4) method of deployment. Choice experiments will be conducted using a randomized complete block design, and treatments within block will be rotated daily. Traps will be checked daily, number and gender of each beetle recorded, removed and preserved. In addition, we will conduct a series of field experiments to determine the distance at which adult A. glabripennis beetles are attracted to the optimized artificial lure (see approach outlined above for Acer mono). 1.2. We will conduct field studies of the process of population spread and host colonization in invasive ALB populations in North America and Europe. We will use dendrochronology methods to date signs of attack on infested trees within different landscapes of two ALB infestations (Toronto, Canada; Treviso, Italy), thereby providing the timeline of attack and emergence. We will use GPS methods of infested trees to provide the spatial scale of population spread. Collectively, this approach will allow us to reconstruct the process of population spread and to development of predictive spatiotemporal models of population spread and host colonization on which to base implementation of a wide range of adaptive management strategies for existing introductions, and for restricting establishment, proliferation and spread of future introductions. 2. We will combine the geographic distribution of epidemic ALB populations with that of mixed deciduous forests to predict the geographic and host range of ALB, specifically focusing on noninvasive populations within natural ecosystems in South Korea and China. We will conduct foreign exploration to identify natural enemies of ALB within natural ecosystems and evaluate host specificity and efficacy as biological control agents of ALB. 3. In natural forests, we will identify native woodborers and associated native natural enemies of maple, and evaluate the later as biocontrol agents of ALB. We will identify native natural enemies parasitizing ALB within infestations in the U.S.


3.Progress Report
From 1996 to 2008 the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) killed a wide range of deciduous tree species, most notable maples in the urban, suburban, and forest areas in the U.S., Canada (year discovered) New York 1996, Illinois 2003, New Jersey 2005, Ontario 2006, Massachusetts 2008 and Italy 2009, with a combined total of over 130,000 trees removed in the U.S. alone. In 2011, another infestation was discovered in the US (Ohio). Therefore, with the continued discovery of new infestations east of the Mississippi, where its preferred trees (maples) comprise ca. 33% of urban, residential and forest areas, ALB has the potential to be ranked among the most devastating tree pests of the past century. Progress in this project emphasizes development of: (a) technology for early detection of adult ALB infested trees and cargo; (b) predictive models of ALB population spread, distribution and seasonality, which collectively optimize rapid implementation of survey and control strategies and (c) biological control. We assessed the potential invasiveness of Painted Maple and thus far found it to pose little or no risk in the US. As a safeguard, we identified methods to prevent trees from producing viable seed. Collectively, results support the use of Painted Maple as a sentinel tree for early detection of ALB. In collaboration with Simon Fraser University and University of Delaware (UoD), we are evaluating the attraction of ALB to artificial attractants, and have thus far identified an attractant as a potential method for early detection of adult ALB (Research objective 1.1.1). In cooperation with Schertler, Ltd. and the ARS Behavior and Biocontrol Research Unit, we compared the sensitivity of two types of acoustic sensors and found one to more accurately detect feeding sounds of ALB within infested trees (Research objective 1.1.3). In cooperation with the Canadian Forest Service and the University of Padova, we continued development of predictive models of the rate at which ALB spreads in urban, residential and natural forests areas. These models will be used in the US to significantly improve survey and control efforts in areas at greatest risk of attack (Research 0objective 1.2.1). In collaboration with UoD and APHIS, we interfaced our degree day model of ALB development with geographic information systems (GIS) to provide federal, state and international agencies with accurate and timely forecasts of ALB, thereby optimizing early detection, survey and control strategies (Research objective 1.2.3) In collaboration with UoD, we identified the geographic and host range of ALB in Asia, which when interfaced with GIS, resulted in focusing exploration, discovery and collection of exotic natural enemies of ALB in China as potential biological control agents of ALB in the US and Europe(Research objective 2.1). We identified five parasitic wasp species native to the US that successfully parasitize and complete development on ALB. Focusing largely on one species, we made significant progress towards describing its life history, determining its rate of parasitism and developing potential methods for rearing large numbers for potential release (Research objective 3.1).


Review Publications
Mankin, R.W., Hagstrum, D.W., Smith, M.T., Roda, A.L., Kairo, M.T.K. 2011. Perspective and promise: a century of insect acoustic setection and monitoring. American Entomologist. 57:30-44.

Jinquan, W., Smith, M.T. 2010. Successful approaches for battling invasive species in developed countries. Acta Agriculturae Universitatis Jiangxiensis. 32(5):1040-1055.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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