Skip to Main Content
A decade of emerald ash borer effects on regional woodpecker and nuthatch populationsAuthor(s): Walter D. Koenig; Andrew M. Liebhold
Source: Biological Invasions
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (859.0 KB)
DescriptionThe emerald ash borer (EAB) Agrilus planipennis, first detected in 2002 in the vicinity of Detroit, Michigan, USA, has spread throughout much of eastern and midwestern North America as of 2016, resulting in widespread mortality of ash trees in the genus Fraxinus. We investigated the effects of this newly available, exotic food source on populations of six species of largely resident insectivorous birds, including five species of woodpeckers and whitebreasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis), using North American Breeding Bird Survey data for breeding season estimates and Audubon Christmas Bird Counts for winter season estimates. We found evidence for relatively modest and variable effects of EAB invasion on the populations of these birds during the breeding season, but highly significant numerical increases during the winter that in several cases appeared to be increasing as the EAB invasion has progressed. Our results confirm that the EAB invasion is resulting in increased populations of several insectivorous birds, primarily during the winter. They also suggest that the numerical response of woodpeckers to EAB may be such that avian predation, which represents a significant, and possibly the largest, morality factor affecting some EAB populations, may continue to increase and help control the EAB epidemic as the invasion continues.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationKoenig, Walter D.; Liebhold, Andrew M. 2017. A decade of emerald ash borer effects on regional woodpecker and nuthatch populations. Biological Invasions. 19(7): 2029-2037. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-017-1411-7.
KeywordsAgrilus planipennis, Emerald ash borer, Forest pests, Invasive species
- Effects of the emerald ash borer invasion on four species of birds
- Native bark-foraging birds preferentially forage in infected ash (Fraxinus spp.) and prove effective predators of the invasive emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire)
- Temporal dynamics of woodpecker predation on emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) in the northeastern U.S.A.
XML: View XML