Canadian Forest Service Publications

Soil and Nutrient Cycling Responses in Riparian Forests to the Loss of Ash (Fraxinus spp. L) from Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis, Fairmaire). 2020. Sibley, P.K., Dutkiewicz, D., Kreutzweiser, D.P., Hazlett, P. Forests 2020, 11, 489.

Year: 2020

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40192

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.3390/f11050489

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Plain Language Summary

The objectives of this research were to evaluate the effects of tree mortality cause by Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) on riparian forests and soils. Researchers established plots in two riparian forests in Southwestern Ontario. At one site, EAB killed a significant amount of ash trees eight to ten years ago. At the second site ash trees experienced severe mortality one to three years ago. For both sites, researchers chose plots that were not affected by ash mortality and compared them to plots that had significant ash mortality. Researchers measured: 1) canopy openness 2) litterfall 3) herbaceous vegetation 4) soil carbon and nitrogen and 5) soil nitrogen mineralization. Plots that experienced EAB mortality had a more open forest canopy, resulting in more herbaceous ground vegetation. There was a reduction in litterfall and a lower flux of nutrients to the forest soil. Despite the reduction in nutrient fluxes, there was no difference measured in the soil nitrogen and carbon content or soil nitrogen mineralization. Overall, even though the EAB causes significant damage to forests, for up to 10 years after mortality, the riparian forest seems resistant to the effects of the pest.