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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Newark, Delaware » Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit » Research » Research Project #429092

Research Project: Area-wide Management of the Invasive Emerald Ash Borer to Protect U.S. Plant-Related Industries and Urban and Natural Forest Ecosystems

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit

Project Number: 8010-22000-028-01-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 30, 2015
End Date: Jul 29, 2020

Our overall goal is to decrease the economic and ecological impacts of the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, in urban, suburban and forested areas by developing area-wide pest management strategies that are adapted to the dynamics of EAB populations at different phases of the invasion process. Specifically, we will: (1) determine whether natural enemies, alone or in combination with application of a highly effective systemic insecticide and/or girdled trees, can suppress EAB populations in the cusp phase of the invasion wave. (2) assess interactions of these management tactics on EAB densities, and associated persistence and condition of ash.

Replicated field experiments will be conducted to evaluate effects of: (a) biological control alone (i.e., releases of introduced parasitoids) and (b) integrating biological control, treatment of selected trees with the systemic insecticide and/or girdled trap trees. We will compare ash tree mortality in replicated ½ ha sized plots in forest stands near Dalton, Massachusetts, where several species of Asian parasitoids have been released and one species (Tetrastichus planipennisi) has successfully dispersed. At half of these sites, we will treat 10-20% of living ash trees with TREE-age™, a highly effective systemic insecticide.