Invasive Species

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Tiny forest pests cause big problems

Podcast

Each year, more than 25 million shipping containers enter the U.S. All too often, highly destructive forest pests are lurking among their imported goods. Wood boring insects arrive as stowaways in wood packaging, such as pallets and crates. 

Tree-smart trade is critical

In the Adirondacks and the Catskills, beech bark disease is taking out the largest beeches. Emerald ash borer, a little beetle that has killed over 100 million ash trees in the Midwest, is now active throughout the state, including the Capital Region.

More forest pests than ever are entering the U.S., and it’s costing the public a fortune

In the 20th century, chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease decimated billions of U.S. trees, in forests and along urban and suburban streets. The tree diseases, caused by invasive pests, effectively changed the face of one American city landscape after another—chestnut trees were virtually wiped out and elms diminished to but a few locations—and cost local governments and homeowners a fortune.

What it would take to stop invasive pests from destroying millions of U.S. trees

When cheap consumer goods arrive on American shores, they sometimes bring invasive parasites that go on to decimate forests and urban trees. A new study, out Tuesday in the journal Ecological Applications, synthesizes the information available on the true costs of these species and lays out the best available policy responses.

Related Projects

Tree-SMART Trade

Growing reliance on both trees and trade makes imported forest pests the most pressing, and under-appreciated, forest health issue in the US today. Five high-priority policy actions that build on proven prevention measures can reduce the arrival and establishment of new forest pests.

Effects of Invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid on Northeastern Forests

Hemlock is a "foundation" tree species in eastern forests and its presence defines the properties of a unique ecosystem that is presently declining due to the introduction and spread of an invasive insect, the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Effects of Gypsy Moth on Nitrogen Cycling

The gypsy moth was introduced to North America from Europe in 1869 and has become a major defoliator of eastern hardwood forests.

Ecosystem Effects of Exotic Forest Pests

Over the last century, forests of the eastern U.S. have been plagued by a series of devastating introductions of exotic pests.

zebra mussel

Zebra Mussels and the Hudson River

Zebra mussels appeared in the Hudson in 1991 and fundamentally transformed the ecosystem. The zebra mussel invasion is linked to losses of native mussels and changes in the fish community.

Effects of Beech Bark Disease on Catskill forests

This project is focused on the consequences of the invasion of the beech bark disease (BBD) in northern hardwood forests, which dominate the uplands of the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada.

Exotic Earthworms & Northern Temperate Forests

Earthworms effect microbial nitrogen cycling and ecosystem nitrogen retention. Earthworm invasion of north temperate forests will have large consequences for nutrient retention and uptake in these ecosystems.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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