Potential Effects of Foundation Species Loss on Wetland Communities: A Case Study of Black Ash Wetlands Threatened by Emerald Ash Borer

Melissa B. Youngquist, Sue L. Eggert, Anthony W. D’Amato, Brian J. Palik, Robert A. Slesak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The emerald ash borer (EAB; Agrilus planipennis) is an invasive beetle that causes almost complete mortality of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) in North America and Europe. Northern temperate wetlands, where black ash (F. nigra) is a dominant and foundation species, will likely undergo dramatic shifts after EAB invasion. Utilizing published knowledge on amphibian and aquatic invertebrate responses to environmental gradients and the effects of ash loss on forest structure and function, we provide a mechanistic framework to discuss how changes in hydrology, canopy structure, and litter inputs could affect wetland communities. Changes in leaf litter could affect primary production and food web structure in the aquatic environment; overall changes in habitat structure might shift the community to species with longer aquatic stages that prefer open-canopy habitats. Amphibians and aquatic invertebrates serve as linkages between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Therefore, understanding how the abundance and functional diversity of these taxa change in response to EAB is necessary to understand whole ecosystem responses. Using a mechanistic framework to formulate hypotheses and predictions is vital for our ability to manage target systems, retain biodiversity, and sustain ecosystem function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-799
Number of pages13
JournalWetlands
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

Keywords

  • Agrilus planipennis
  • Amphibian
  • Aquatic invertebrate
  • Community ecology
  • Fraxinus nigra
  • Invasive species

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Potential Effects of Foundation Species Loss on Wetland Communities: A Case Study of Black Ash Wetlands Threatened by Emerald Ash Borer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this