Skip to Main Content
Biomass losses resulting from insect and disease invasions in US forestsAuthor(s): Songlin Fei; Randall S. Morin; Christopher M. Oswalt; Andrew M. Liebhold
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (1.0 MB)
DescriptionWorldwide, forests are increasingly affected by nonnative insects and diseases, some of which cause substantial tree mortality. Forests in the United States have been invaded by a particularly large number (>450) of tree-feeding pest species. While information exists about the ecological impacts of certain pests, region-wide assessments of the composite ecosystem impacts of all species are limited. Here we analyze 92,978 forest plots distributed across the conterminous United States to estimate biomass loss associated with elevated mortality rates caused by the 15 most damaging nonnative forest pests. We find that these species combined caused an additional (i.e., above background levels) tree mortality rate of 5.53 TgC per year. Compensation, in the form of increased growth and recruitment of nonhost species, was not detectable when measured across entire invaded ranges but does occur several decades following pest invasions. In addition, 41.1% of the total live forest biomass in the conterminous United States is at risk of future loss from these 15 pests. These results indicate that forest pest invasions, driven primarily by globalization, represent a huge risk to US forests and have significant impacts on carbon dynamics.
- 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.
CitationFei, Songlin; Morin, Randall S.; Oswalt, Christopher M.; Liebhold, Andrew M. 2019. Biomass losses resulting from insect and disease invasions in US forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 201820601. 6 p. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1820601116.
Keywordspest invasion, carbon, forest ecosystem, biomass
- A regional assessment of emerald ash borer impacts in the Eastern United States: ash mortality and abundance trends in time and space
- Tree diversity regulates forest pest invasion
- Laurel wilt: Current and potential impacts and possibilities for prevention and management
XML: View XML