Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Entomology

First Advisor

Dr. Lynne Rieske-Kinney

Abstract

Emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is an invasive wood boring beetle native to eastern Asia which was first detected in North America in 2002. All North American Fraxinus (ash) species are suitable hosts and susceptible to attack. Emerald ash borer larvae feed on phloem beneath the bark of infested trees resulting in girdling and mortality in as little as five years following initial infestation. Since its introduction near Detroit, Michigan, emerald ash borer has rapidly spread throughout much of the United States and portions of Canada, threatening the persistence of ash in invaded regions.

I tested a management strategy for emerald ash borer which combines pesticide applications with releases of three species of classical biological control agents: Tetrastichus planipennisi, Spathius agrili, and Oobius agrili. My data suggest that the two approaches are compatible and pesticides did not negatively impact establishment success of T. planipennisi and O. agrili.

Additionally, I characterized the assemblage of natural enemies native to the central United States that might be capable of helping regulate emerald ash borer populations, and found twelve morpho-species of natural enemies being recruited to emerald ash borer in this region. Finally, I evaluated the impact of ash decline on native hymenopteran parasitoids and found a positive correlation between ash decline and parasitoid abundance.

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