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      Nonnative forest insects and pathogens in the United States: Impacts and policy options

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          Abstract

          We review and synthesize information on invasions of nonnative forest insects and diseases in the United States, including their ecological and economic impacts, pathways of arrival, distribution within the United States, and policy options for reducing future invasions. Nonnative insects have accumulated in United States forests at a rate of ~2.5 per yr over the last 150 yr. Currently the two major pathways of introduction are importation of live plants and wood packing material such as pallets and crates. Introduced insects and diseases occur in forests and cities throughout the United States, and the problem is particularly severe in the Northeast and Upper Midwest. Nonnative forest pests are the only disturbance agent that has effectively eliminated entire tree species or genera from United States forests within decades. The resulting shift in forest structure and species composition alters ecosystem functions such as productivity, nutrient cycling, and wildlife habitat. In urban and suburban areas, loss of trees from streets, yards, and parks affects aesthetics, property values, shading, stormwater runoff, and human health. The economic damage from nonnative pests is not yet fully known, but is likely in the billions of dollars per year, with the majority of this economic burden borne by municipalities and residential property owners. Current policies for preventing introductions are having positive effects but are insufficient to reduce the influx of pests in the face of burgeoning global trade. Options are available to strengthen the defenses against pest arrival and establishment, including measures taken in the exporting country prior to shipment, measures to ensure clean shipments of plants and wood products, inspections at ports of entry, and post‐entry measures such as quarantines, surveillance, and eradication programs. Improved data collection procedures for inspections, greater data accessibility, and better reporting would support better evaluation of policy effectiveness. Lack of additional action places the nation, local municipalities, and property owners at high risk of further damaging and costly invasions. Adopting stronger policies to reduce establishments of new forest insects and diseases would shift the major costs of control to the source and alleviate the economic burden now borne by homeowners and municipalities.

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          Environmental and Economic Costs of Nonindigenous Species in the United States

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            Eradication revisited: dealing with exotic species.

            Invasions of nonindigenous species threaten native biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, animal and plant health, and human economies. The best solution is to prevent the introduction of exotic organisms but, once introduced, eradication might be feasible. The potential ecological and social ramifications of eradication projects make them controversial; however, these programs provide unique opportunities for experimental ecological studies. Deciding whether to attempt eradication is not simple and alternative approaches might be preferable in some situations.
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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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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ecol Appl
                Ecol Appl
                10.1002/(ISSN)1939-5582
                EAP
                Ecological Applications
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                1051-0761
                10 May 2016
                July 2016
                : 26
                : 5 ( doiID: 10.1111/eap.2016.26.issue-5 )
                : 1437-1455
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies Box AB Millbrook New York 12545 USA
                [ 2 ] Science Policy Exchange Harvard Forest Harvard University Petersham Massachusetts 01366 USA
                [ 3 ] Harvard Forest Harvard University Petersham Massachusetts 01366 USA
                [ 4 ] USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station Morgantown West Virginia 26505 USA
                [ 5 ] USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station Research Triangle Park North Carolina 27701 USA
                [ 6 ] Department of Biology McGill University Montreal Quebec H3A 1B1 Canada
                [ 7 ] Center for Invasive Species Prevention Bethesda MD 20814 USA
                [ 8 ] Ecological Research Institute Kingston New York 12401 USA
                [ 9 ] Department of Entomology and Department of Forestry Michigan State University East Lansing Michigan 48824 USA
                [ 10 ] Department of Biology Dartmouth College Hanover New Hampshire 03755 USA
                [ 11 ] The Nature Conservancy New York State Chapter Albany New York 12205 USA
                Author notes
                Article
                EAP1331
                10.1890/15-1176
                6680343
                27755760
                b55c93bc-cda3-4fac-88b8-54c8448cabbe
                © 2016 The Authors Ecological Applications published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Ecological Society of America

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

                History
                : 06 July 2015
                : 24 November 2015
                : 15 December 2015
                Page count
                Pages: 19
                Funding
                Funded by: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
                Funded by: F.M. Kirby Foundation
                Funded by: Northeastern States Research Cooperative of the USDA Forest Service
                Funded by: U.S. National Science Foundation's Long Term Ecological Research
                Award ID: DEB 11‐14804
                Award ID: DEB 12‐37491
                Categories
                Article
                Articles
                Custom metadata
                2.0
                eap1331
                July 2016
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version:5.6.7 mode:remove_FC converted:05.08.2019

                disease,forest,insect,invasive,pathogen,policy
                disease, forest, insect, invasive, pathogen, policy

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