Canadian Forest Service Publications
Tomodensitometry as a Tool to Detect and Study Two Agrilus (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) Species, 2022, Martel, V.; Bélanger, S.; Lavallée, R.; Hébert, C. Forests , 13, 1092.
Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 40766
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Exotic insect species are an increasing concern with international trade. Detecting and removing any insect are thus important for any imported/exported product, including wood products. For example, wood transportation is known to be an important pathway for the introduction and dispersal of the Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). This Asian species is causing high mortality of ash trees in its introduced range because of the weak natural defense of trees and the virtual absence of natural enemies. For similar reasons, there are concerns in Europe that the Bronze Birch Borer, A. anxius, native to North America, could be introduced and cause important birch mortality. Having efficient detection methods and phytosanitary measures to prevent introducing it is thus important. In this study, we evaluated tomodensitometry—or CT-scan—as a detection method for detecting these two Agrilus spp. using debarking as the method of reference. Using CT-scan, we were also able to precisely measure the depth of insects in ash and birch trees in order to recommend proper phytosanitary measures for exportation and importation of wood products. Both techniques efficiently detect the presence of insects in ash, paper birch, and yellow birch. However, the number of A. anxius detected depended on both the technique and the diameter of the sample. The depth of insects depended on tree species, sample diameter, and life-stage. Globally, A. planipennis are deeper in ash trees than A. anxius in birch trees, and prepupae are deeper than larvae. The maximal depth in the sapwood (excluding bark thickness) for ash, paper birch, and yellow birch was 21.9 mm, 6.30 mm, and 3.22 mm, respectively. While CT-scan is more expensive and requires access to expensive equipment, debarking is more time-consuming, especially if the number of insects needs to be determined.