Changes in a western Ohio old-growth forest community before and after invasion by emerald ash borer
The emerald ash borer (EAB; Agrilus planipennis fairmaire) is an invasive insect species in North America that has devastated Fraxinus (ash) populations in the Great Lakes region and northeastern U.S.. Many forests are losing a significant number of Fraxinus trees and the implications of this widespread disturbance is not yet clear. The aim of this study is to understand how EAB-related tree mortality is impacting compositional change in a west central Ohio old-growth forest. A set of 32 nested plots were established in Drew Woods State Nature Preserve in 2011 and used to sample the overstory layer (314 m2; stems ≥ 2.5 cm diameter at breast height), sapling layer (10 m2; stems < 2.5 cm dbh and > 50 cm in height), and seedling layer (1 m2; stems <50 cm in height). These plots were resampled in 2017 to investigate the composition of tree species over seven years during which the majority of Fraxinus trees died from EAB infestation. In the overstory, basal area of live Fraxinus decreased from 151.4 m2 ha-1 in 2011 to 1.68 m2 ha-1 in 2017. The basal area of dead Fraxinus increased from 33.5 m2 ha-1 in 2011 and to 132.3 m2 ha-1 in 2017. Further analysis will investigate how the relative abundance and stem density of tree species other than Fraxinus have changed during this time period. These findings can provide insight into the future successional trajectory of forests that have been infested with emerald ash borer.
Ryan W McEwan
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
"Changes in a western Ohio old-growth forest community before and after invasion by emerald ash borer" (2018). Stander Symposium Posters. 1236.