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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Newark, Delaware » Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit » Research » Research Project #437718

Research Project: Biocontrol of Invasive Emerald Ash Borer to Protect Urban and Natural Forest Ecosystems

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit

Project Number: 8010-22000-031-011-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2020
End Date: Aug 31, 2022

The project has two specific objectives: (1) conserve ash as a component of natural forests in the aftermath of EAB invasion through releases and successful establishment of introduced biocontrol agents (Michigan), and (2) reduce the risk of new EAB outbreaks through total population reduction by integrating selective treatments of large overstory ash trees with systemic insecticides combined with EAB biocontrol as early as possible after EAB is detected.

In both regions, researchers will continue to collect data on ash inventory and demographics, EAB infestation rates, EAB mortality factors including parasitism by the introduced biocontrol agents, disease, putative host resistance, and abiotic factors for another year via this year’s Farm Bill program (if funded) from both treatment (parasitoid release or selective trunk injection with systemic insecticide) and control (no parasitoid release or no trunk injection) plots. At each study site, we will measure EAB density and parasitism by debarking four to five EAB-infested live ash trees and 5 – 10 ash saplings during late fall (October – November) or early spring (February to May) each year to assess larval EAB density and associated parasitism by each of the introduced biocontrol agents. In addition, they will also measure ash survival and health status and determine the biocontrol agents’ spread and “halo” effect of insecticide-treated trees on EAB infestation in nearby untreated trees, as well as any effect of the selective systemic treatments on parasitoid establishment.