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Pests, Pathogens, and the Future of Hudson Valley Forests
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Pests, Pathogens, and the Future of Hudson Valley Forests

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The Hudson Valley is a treasured landscape that has undergone tremendous change over the past century. This forum explores how science-based stewardship on private land can help protect and promote …

The Hudson Valley is a treasured landscape that has undergone tremendous change over the past century. This forum explores how science-based stewardship on private land can help protect and promote healthy forests and open spaces, now and for future generations.

Presentations explore threats our forests and natural areas face – from invasive species and climate change to deer overabundance – and actions that can be taken on a site-by-site basis to optimize conditions. A special focus will be given to the overlap between sport hunting and conservation communities, with a roundtable discussion on advancing common ground. Hosted April 12, 2014 at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Presentation Part III by: Gary Lovett, Forest Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Published in: Environment, Technology
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  • Biological PollutionMention modeling work by Charlie CanhamMention that all of these pests are not much of a problem in their home continent because they have natural enemies and plant resistance. Our trees are evolutionarily naïve.
  • Illustrate the complexity of the ramification through ecosystems and interaction with other stressors
  • Outbreaks of this insect first noticed in the detroit area in 2002. Has since spread, just reached Dutchess county last spring. Appears to be totally lethal to ash trees. Research on effects just starting.
  • Three, (5 minute) point counts per site (32 sites along a north-south gradient of EAB-induced ash decline in Western Ohio) birds recorded audibly and visually out to 50 meters. Also, not all of the birds pictured along declining side of the continuum are generalists. But they do occupy vastly different niches than do the birds on the healthy end of the continuum. Here are some notes on their biologies: ovenbird is a ground-nester who favors mature closed canopies, little groundcover and deep leaf litter. The blue-gray gnatcatcher can be found in a variety of habitats, but in the forest it occupies the upper canopy. The red-bellied woodpecker is a cavity nester and bark forager. The northern cardinal and to a somewhat lesser extent the gray catbird may be considered generalists. The baltimore oriole prefers an open park-like canopy and the yellow warbler is typically found in shrubby succeeding forests.I forgot to mention in the method notes that the health of each ash canopy (1-5 scale) was assessed for all ash trees within an 18 meter radius of plot center.Birds pictured along gradient are species indicative of site level stage ash decline as yielded from indicator species analysis (from left to right they are: ovenbird, blue-gray gnatcatcher, red-bellied woodpecker, northern cardinal, baltimore oriole, yellow warbler) photos credit to Cornell ornithology (http://www.birds.cornell.edu)Images along the continuum are spaced approximately according to their dispersion in the RDA plot.
  • The total effort will cost about $100,000– we have a promise of $50,000 in matching funds from the Doris Duke Charitable Trust. We are currently looking hard for the matching funds so we can get this effort started. I am hoping we can get started sooner rather than later because this problem is not going away soon.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Gary Lovett Forest Ecologist Pests, Pathogens and the Future of Hudson Valley Forests
    • 2. Continuous long-term stresses: 1. Invasive forest pests and diseases 2. Climate change 3. Air pollution/acid rain 4. Deer 5. Invasive plants Forests are resilient. So what’s the problem?
    • 3. Exotic Pests and Pathogens: A Rogue’s Gallery  Hemlock woolly adelgid  Emerald ash borer  Asian Longhorned Beetle • Chestnut blight • Gypsy moth • Beech bark disease • Dutch elm disease • Balsam woolly adelgid • White pine blister rust • Dogwood anthracnose • Butternut canker • And on and on …
    • 4. Biological Pollution
    • 5. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Kelly Oten, NC State U.
    • 6. Introduced 1951 from Asia Northern extent set by climate Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
    • 7. HWA: High, but not complete, mortality at -10 to -20o F
    • 8. Death of trees Warming of streams may impact fish Impacts of HWA Reverberate Though the Ecosystem Increased nutrient losses Decline of some bird species Reversal of natural succession Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
    • 9. Control of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Chemical Control: Horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps, injectable insecticides. Forest Health Fact Sheet: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid PA DCNR publication dcnr 007179 Biological control: Still in experimental phase Laricobius nigrinus
    • 10. Emerald Ash Borer
    • 11. Emerald Ash Borer
    • 12. NYS DEC, 2014 EAB Detections, Hudson Valley/Catskills
    • 13. • Ash trees are about 7% of trees in NY, 4% in CT • Can be dominants in certain areas, particularly wetlands and successional forests • Appears to be at least 99% lethal to ash • Gradient of ash decline associated with forest structural changes that influence the bird community Open Canopy / Dense ShrubClosed Canopy / Sparse Shrub AC 1 AC 2 AC 3 AC 4 AC 5 From Larry Long, Ohio State University, presented October 2012 Photos:Cornell Lab of Ornithology (http://www.birds.cornell.edu) Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer
    • 14. Control of Emerald Ash Borer •Don’t move firewood! •General Information and report infestations: NYS DEC EAB web site http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html •Chemical Control: Some options available www.emeraldashborer.info •Biological control: Still in experimental phase
    • 15. Preview of Coming Attractions Asian Longhorned Beetle, coming soon to a tree near you!
    • 16. Costs mostly borne by homeowners and municipal governments Worcester, MA ALB eradication 2008-present More than 30,000 trees removed Before After Photos from APHIS PPQ Outbreaks have occurred in: •Queens •Manhattan •NJ •Chicago •Toronto •Bethel, Ohio •Worcester, Mass Asian Longhorned Beetle
    • 17. Can This Problem be Solved?  Eradication of established pests is virtually impossible, but we can slow their spread and buy some time  Biological control has potential but is difficult and risky  We should be focusing on the NEXT pest, not the LAST one  Action is needed at the federal level to control the major vectors: live plants for the nursery trade and wood packing material
    • 18. What can you do about this? • Use native rather than imported plants in landscaping • Don’t move firewood • If managing a forest in response to pest outbreaks, consider: • Impacts of harvesting on the ecosystem • Impacts of pesticides • Long-term health of the tree population • Contact representatives in Congress What is the Cary Institute doing? • Research on impacts of pests • Leading an initiative to summarize scientific information on this issue and use it in an outreach campaign aimed at media and federal legislators.

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