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What is being done about emerald ash borer?

There is considerable work being done in Canada and the U.S.A. on emerald ash borer (EAB) and ash. This includes developing better tools for detecting EAB, improving population control, assessing the ecological impacts of the beetle, ash conservation and tools to help with decision-making.

Detection:
Canadian Forest Service (CFS) researchers have recently shown the effectiveness of a lure made from a female-produced pheromone (lactone) as a method to improve the effectiveness of the current EAB survey traps. This lure can be used in the green prism traps in combination with the green-leaf volatile lure to improve detection.

Biological control:
Researchers in the U.S. have identified four EAB parasitoid species (parasite-like insects that kill their host) from EAB's native range in Asia that are suitable for release in North America. To date three of these have been approved and released in the U.S., and two released in Canada. Tetrastichus planipennisi, which attacks larval stage of EAB, and Oobius agrili, which attacks EAB eggs, are both being released by CFS researchers at a number of sites in Ontario and Quebec. A third parasitoid, Spathius agrili, was approved but is not suitable climatically so was not released.

Canadian Forest Service and University of Toronto researchers are also studying native parasitoids and pathogens to determine if they can also be used to cause EAB mortality. Silv-Econ Ltd. researchers are examining ways of improving the food and habitat resources for parasitoids, to ensure that they are able to thrive in EAB-infested woodlots and forests.

Hybrid ash:
Work to develop a North American-Asian ash hybrid that is resistant to EAB is underway by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Conservation of genetic resources:
The National Tree Seed Centre has been collecting ash seed from a range of ash populations for genetic conservation. This will allow re-introduction of native ash species in the future, as well as providing material for EAB research.

Black ash conservation:
First Nations groups are working on strategies to promote the long-term survival of black ash, a culturally significant species. The Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment is using multifaceted approach which includes seed collection, planting and the use of TreeAzin™ insecticide.


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