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      Urban trees facilitate the establishment of non-native forest insects

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      NeoBiota

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Cities, due to the presence of ports and airports and the high diversity of trees in streets, parks, and gardens, may play an important role for the introduction of invasive forest pests. We hypothesize that areas of urban forest facilitate the establishment of non-native forest pests. Based on scientific literature and a pan-European database on non-native species feeding on woody plants, we analysed where the first detections occurred in European countries. We collected site data for 137 first detections in Europe and 508 first European country-specific records. We also estimated the percentage of tree cover and suitable habitat (green areas with trees) in buffers around detection points. The large majority of first records (89% for first record in Europe and 88% for first records in a European country) were found in cities or suburban areas. Only 7% of the cases were in forests far from cities. The probability of occurrence decreased sharply with distance from the city. The probability to be detected in urban areas was higher for sap feeders, gall makers, and seed or fruit feeders (>90%) than for bark and wood borers (81%). Detection sites in cities were highly diverse, including public parks, street trees, university campus, arboreta, zoos, and botanical gardens. The average proportion of suitable habitat was less than 10% in urban areas where the species were detected. Further, more than 72% of the cases occurred in sites with less than 20% of tree cover. Hotspots of first detection were identified along the coastal regions of the Mediterranean and Atlantic, and near industrial areas of central Europe. We conclude that urban trees are main facilitators for the establishment of non-native forest pests, and that cities should thus be intensely surveyed. Moreover, as urban areas are highly populated, the involvement of citizens is highly recommended.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Emerald Ash Borer Invasion of North America: History, Biology, Ecology, Impacts, and Management

          Since its accidental introduction from Asia, emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), has killed millions of ash trees in North America. As it continues to spread, it could functionally extirpate ash with devastating economic and ecological impacts. Little was known about EAB when it was first discovered in North America in 2002, but substantial advances in understanding of EAB biology, ecology, and management have occurred since. Ash species indigenous to China are generally resistant to EAB and may eventually provide resistance genes for introgression into North American species. EAB is characterized by stratified dispersal resulting from natural and human-assisted spread, and substantial effort has been devoted to the development of survey methods. Early eradication efforts were abandoned largely because of the difficulty of detecting and delineating infestations. Current management is focused on biological control, insecticide protection of high-value trees, and integrated efforts to slow ash mortality.
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            The consequence of tree pests and diseases for ecosystem services.

            Trees and forests provide a wide variety of ecosystem services in addition to timber, food, and other provisioning services. New approaches to pest and disease management are needed that take into account these multiple services and the different stakeholders they benefit, as well as the likelihood of greater threats in the future resulting from globalization and climate change. These considerations will affect priorities for both basic and applied research and how trade and phytosanitary regulations are formulated.
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              Urban Warming Drives Insect Pest Abundance on Street Trees

              Cities profoundly alter biological communities, favoring some species over others, though the mechanisms that govern these changes are largely unknown. Herbivorous arthropod pests are often more abundant in urban than in rural areas, and urban outbreaks have been attributed to reduced control by predators and parasitoids and to increased susceptibility of stressed urban plants. These hypotheses, however, leave many outbreaks unexplained and fail to predict variation in pest abundance within cities. Here we show that the abundance of a common insect pest is positively related to temperature even when controlling for other habitat characteristics. The scale insect Parthenolecanium quercifex was 13 times more abundant on willow oak trees in the hottest parts of Raleigh, NC, in the southeastern United States, than in cooler areas, though parasitism rates were similar. We further separated the effects of heat from those of natural enemies and plant quality in a greenhouse reciprocal transplant experiment. P. quercifex collected from hot urban trees became more abundant in hot greenhouses than in cool greenhouses, whereas the abundance of P. quercifex collected from cooler urban trees remained low in hot and cool greenhouses. Parthenolecanium quercifex living in urban hot spots succeed with warming, and they do so because some demes have either acclimatized or adapted to high temperatures. Our results provide the first evidence that heat can be a key driver of insect pest outbreaks on urban trees. Since urban warming is similar in magnitude to global warming predicted in the next 50 years, pest abundance on city trees may foreshadow widespread outbreaks as natural forests also grow warmer.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NeoBiota
                NB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2488
                1619-0033
                November 11 2019
                November 11 2019
                : 52
                : 25-46
                Article
                10.3897/neobiota.52.36358
                © 2019

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