Canadian Forest Service Publications

What's killing the green menace: mortality factors affecting the emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) in North America? 2014. Lyons, D.B. The Canadian Entomologist 147(Special Issue 3):263-276.

Year: 2014

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35800

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.4039/tce.2014.62

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Mark record


Emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), is an Asian species that was introduced into North America in the mid-1990s. The beetle has the potential to devastate populations of Fraxinus Linnaeus (Oleaceae) species. Several species of Hymenoptera parasitoids have made the transition from North American Agrilus curtis hosts to A. planipennis, and some (e.g., Atanycolus Förster (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) species) have caused substantial mortality. Invertebrate predators of A. planipennis have been poorly investigated. Predation by woodpeckers (Aves: Picidae) has had the greatest impact on A. planipennis populations. Native entomopathogens have also been observed in populations of A. planipennis and are being explored as potential biological control agents. Agrilus planipennis is a freeze-intolerant species and as such perishes when its tissues freeze. However, the beetle can achieve a mean supercooling point of − 30 °C by the production of cryoprotectants, especially glycerol. This low supercooling point in combination with temperatures higher than ambient in its overwintering microhabitat means that it can survive in most of its invaded range. As its distribution expands northward its cold hardiness may be challenged. North American species of Fraxinus possess some resistance to A. planipennis via defensive mechanisms, but these are quickly overcome by expanding larval populations. Intraspecific competition (via cannibalism and starvation) impacts larval survival.

Plain Language Summary

The manuscript is a review of the mortality factors in the population dynamics of the emerald ash borer and as such falls under the FIAS project of the Disturbances IO. The article reviews the current state of the knowledge about natural enemies of EAB in North America, overwintering survival of EAB, and the effects of tree resistance and cannibalism on EAB populations. Some knowledge gaps are outlined.