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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Newark, Delaware » Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #323445

Research Project: Biological Control of Invasive Wood-Boring Insect Pests such as Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Longhorned Beetle

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit

Title: Effects of the emerald ash borer invasion on the community composition of arthropods associated with ash tree boles

Author
item Jennings, David - University Of Maryland
item Duan, Jian
item Bean, Dick - Maryland Department Of Agriculture
item Rice, Kimberly - Maryland Department Of Agriculture
item Williams, Gaye - Maryland Department Of Agriculture
item Bell, Steven - Maryland Department Of Agriculture
item Shurtleff, Aaron - Maryland Department Of Agriculture
item Shrewsbury, Paula - University Of Maryland

Submitted to: Agricultural and Forest Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/26/2016
Publication Date: 9/22/2017
Citation: Jennings, D.E., Duan, J.J., Bean, D., Rice, K., Williams, G., Bell, S., Shurtleff, A., Shrewsbury, P.M. 2017. Effects of the emerald ash borer invasion on the community composition of arthropods associated with ash tree boles. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 19:122–129.

Interpretive Summary: Emerald ash borer is an invasive beetle that has been killing hundreds of millions of ash trees throughout North America since it was accidentally introduced in the 1990s. In cooperation with scientists from the University of Maryland and Maryland Department of Agriculture, USDA ARS scientists investigated how other species of arthropods were affected by this loss of ash trees from forest ecosystems in Maryland. Results of the study indicated that the relative abundance of other arthropods shifted as the emerald ash borer invasion intensified, with more wood-boring beetles early in the invasion followed by more parasitic wasps later in the invasion. These findings demonstrate the wide-ranging effects on forest ecosystems from the emerald ash borer invasion and subsequent loss of ash trees.

Technical Abstract: Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire is an invasive non-native wood-boring beetle that has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) in North America, and threatens to extirpate the ecological services provided by the genus. Identifying the arthropod community associated with ash trees has been highlighted as an important research requirement in understanding the broader effects of the EAB invasion, and toward that end we conducted a four-year survey of arthropods inhabiting ash trees across the state of Maryland. We harvested EAB infested ash trees at 37 sites from 2011-2014, and collected a total of 2,031 individual arthropods. All arthropods were identified to order and 1,921 (94.6%) were identified to family or below. The community comprised 13 orders, 60 families, and 41 genera, with 28 arthropod species identified. Four orders (Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera) accounted for 98.3% of arthropods collected. Changes in both richness and diversity over time were best explained using second-order polynomial models, and these corresponded with a transition in the dominant taxa from wood-boring beetles (Cerambycidae) to parasitoids (Braconidae and Eulophidae). This resulted in significant changes in the arthropod community composition as the EAB infestation intensified. Our findings provide further evidence of the diversity of arthropods at risk from EAB. Given the number of invasive non-native insects threatening North American forests, establishing what taxa are present is an important step in predicting what the broader impacts of these invasions are likely to be.