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Individual Highlight

Equipping Forest Managers to Respond to Two Threats to Ash

Photo of This flow diagram shows how we ranked species for potential to replace ash: status and risk to ash was considered together with potential of co-occurring species (both in Minnesota and in points south in Michigan and Ohio) to tolerate a changing climate. Louis Iverson, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.This flow diagram shows how we ranked species for potential to replace ash: status and risk to ash was considered together with potential of co-occurring species (both in Minnesota and in points south in Michigan and Ohio) to tolerate a changing climate. Louis Iverson, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : Forest Service scientists used field data and models to assess both the threats to, and potential replacement species for, black ash, a species threatened by climate change and the emerald ash borer.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Iverson, LouisKnight, Kathleen
Research Location : Minnesota
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1122

Summary

Black ash, a moist-soil species common in the Northwoods of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan and often occurring in nearly pure stands, is under a double threat of losing habitat from climate change and near annihilation from emerald ash borer (EAB). Because planting non-ash species to replace ash is an adaptive management strategy being pursued by land managers, tools are needed to assist managers in prioritizing sites for early treatment and to select potential species to replace black ash. Forest Service scientists used field data and models to assess both the threats to, and potential replacement species for, black ash in Minnesota to: (1) assess the status of ashes and co-occurring species in forest inventory plots throughout Minnesota; (2) model the risk of EAB attack for multiple years in Minnesota; (3) model potential impacts of climate change on tree species with current or potential future habitat in Minnesota; (4) evaluate species co-occurring with black ash in plots in Ohio and Michigan, southeast of Minnesota; and (5) synthesize these results to classify candidate replacement species, both from within Minnesota and from points farther south. Though demonstrated for black ash in Minnesota, the procedure would be similar for other locations and species with a pest/pathogen threat simultaneously facing a changing climate.