The emerald ash borer is an invasive pest from Asia that has recently become established in Western New York. This pest, first discovered in Michigan in 2002, is known to kill more than 85% of Fraxinus trees in a stand within 3-5 years of establishment. Therefore, the potential for dramatic ecosystem change exists with the establishment of this pest. As a result of its recent arrival, few ecological studies of the impact of this pest exist. However, it is possible that this pest will drastically change ecosystem functioning in infested stands. One hypothesis is that ash dominated sites, which currently serve as atmospheric carbon sinks, will become carbon sources as ash trees are lost to the pest, and the associated changes in production and decomposition occur. Another hypothesis is that this pest will set back the successional clock of infested sites, while shifting the sites towards a non-native plant community.
|Presenter:||Rebecca Bernacki (Graduate Student)|
|Time:||10:45 am Session II|