Rail transport as a vector of emerald ash borer

Mara T. Short, Kevin D. Chase, Tivon E. Feeley, Aubree M. Kees, Jacob T. Wittman, Brian H. Aukema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The emerald ash borer (EAB) Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) is an invasive woodboring beetle native to northeastern Asia that continues to expand its range within North America and European Russia. The insect reproduces within and kills most North American species of ash Fraxinus spp. Because both the adult and larval life stages of EAB are difficult to detect prior to development of tree symptoms, much work has focused on quantifying spread and clarifying the potential movement pathways to improve early detection and monitoring strategies. In the present study, we retrospectively analyzed county-level infestations of emerald ash borer in the state of Iowa, U.S.A., subsequent to the initial detection of EAB in 2010. Visual data analysis had suggested that new infestations were not in accordance with the expected patterns of establishment along roads, near campgrounds or by large population centres. We found a positive correlation between the establishment and detection of EAB in Iowa counties and the length of railroads in each county. To our knowledge, this is the first statistically significant association between rail pathways and the spread of EAB on the North American continent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-97
Number of pages6
JournalAgricultural and Forest Entomology
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Project MIN‐17‐095 and US Forest Service award 16‐JV‐11242307‐138 and is consistent with the research mandate of the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pest Center at the University of Minnesota. GIS support from Z. Vanderleest (Iowa DNR) is appreciated. We also appreciate the shared insights of five anonymous reviewers who improved a previous version of this work.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Project MIN-17-095 and US Forest Service award 16-JV-11242307-138 and is consistent with the research mandate of the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pest Center at the University of Minnesota. GIS support from Z. Vanderleest (Iowa DNR) is appreciated. We also appreciate the shared insights of five anonymous reviewers who improved a previous version of this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors. Agricultural and Forest Entomology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Entomological Society.

Keywords

  • Agrilus planipennis
  • anthropogenic transport
  • invasion ecology
  • railway
  • spread pathway

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