Canadian Forest Service Publications
Loss of ash trees in riparian forests from emerald ash borer infestations has implications for aquatic invertebrate leaf-litter consumers. 2018. Kreutzweiser, D.; Nisbet, D.; Sibley, P.; Scarr, T. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 49: 134-144.
Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 39490
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Plain Language Summary
This is based on work partially supported by the Invasive Species Centre and focuses on assessing risk of the loss of ash trees in riparian forests from the emerald ash borer. We show that ash trees can be common, sometimes dominant, in riparian forests of headwater streams in an agricultural landscape of southwestern Ontario, and that they provide high-quality leaf litter inputs to streams for organic matter consumers. Among the four common leaf litter contributors from stream-side trees that accounted for nearly 65% of total litterfall, ash was the first or second most preferred food source for consumers. Preferential feeding on ash leaves infers a high quality, labile food source that is selected by consumers from among the litter mixtures, and this was congruent with our findings of relatively high N content and low C/N ratio of ash leaves in comparison to the other common riparian tree species in our study region. The loss of ash in riparian forests represents an EAB-induced reduction in a high-quality resource subsidy to organic matter consumers in streams, and we discuss how this can be taken into consideration for risk predictions and management response strategies.