Canadian Forest Service Publications
Detection and sampling of emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) infestations. 2015. Ryall, K. Canadian Entomologist 147:290-299.
Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 36130
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Emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (EAB) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), has caused devastating levels of mortality to ash trees (Fraxinus Linnaeus, Oleaceae) in North America. Early infestations of this insect are extremely difficult to detect due to cryptic larval feeding and lack of obvious signs or symptoms of initial attack. Considerable research has been conducted to develop tools and techniques aimed towards providing early detection and delimitation of populations of this invasive species. Sampling tools and techniques include: (1) relating visual signs and symptoms to the presence of EAB infestations; (2) use of girdled trap-trees to increase captures of adults and subsequent larval densities; (3) sub-sampling protocols to detect larvae under the bark based on their within-tree distribution; (4) artificial traps baited with pheromones and/or host volatiles attractive to adult EAB; (5) biosurvellience using buprestid-hunting wasps; and (6) remote sensing techniques. Additional research modelling patterns of infestation at the landscape scale indicate very clumped or aggregated distributions, greatly increasing the difficulty of early detection across large spatial scales. Further research is still required to increase the efficacy and efficiency of early detection tools and techniques, including cost/benefit analysis of the various sampling options, increased understanding of patterns of initial infestation across the landscape, development of sampling programs for both detection and delimitation, and development of sequential sampling programs to estimate EAB density. This information will enable foresters to make informed decisions regarding management strategies against this devastating pest.
Plain Language Summary
Considerable progress in the development of tools and techniques for detecting emerald ash borer has been made since the insect’s discovery in North America in 2002. Visual detection by landowners is often the way new infestations are reported, which means that very large populations with heavily infested trees are already present. A branch sampling protocol to detect infestation before signs or symptoms are apparent has been developed and adopted in urban areas. Girdled trap trees can be used to determine the limits of an infestation. Extensive research has been conducted on the development of the best trap-lure combination for early detection, but further research is still required. Trapping surveys are conducted at large spatial scales by federal agencies. Remote sensing may also be of value to identify areas of concern at large spatial scales.