Possibilities of further range expansion of the emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) in the North-West of European Russia: What factors will limit the invasive range?

Lead Author Alexander N., Afonin
Institution Contact Saint Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya nab. 7-9, St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia
Co-Authors Dmitry L. Musolin, Saint Petersburg State Forest Technical University, Russia, Alexander A. Egorov, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia; Saint Petersburg State Forest Technical University, Russia, Andrey V. Selikhovkin, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia; Saint Petersburg State Forest Technical University, Russia.
Theme Theme 1: Vulnerability of Arctic Environments
Session Name 1.7 Invasive species in Arctic ecosystems in the changing world: Is it a real threat?
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text Emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis is a new and aggressive invasive pest that has arrived from Asia to North America and European Russia and quickly killed millions of ashes. In Russia, Moscow Region is believed to be a center of the species’ invasive range.

The beetle is known to feed on different Fraxinus species. Even though ash is not a major forest species in Russia, ash forests cover about 265,000 ha in the European Russia, mostly southwards of Moscow. In the northwards regions, ash forests are scarce and ask stands might be separated from each other by dozens of kilometers what make it difficult for A. planipennis to spread because the beetle can fly only 6.5–20 km/year (Musolin et al., 2016).

First recorded in Moscow in 2003, the beetle has spread over 11 administrative regions of European Russia, mostly southwards, but also in other directions (Baranchikov, 2013). Northwards invasive range expansion of this species might be limited by either thermal resources or availability of food plants (ashes).

Our preliminary data suggest that highly flexible seasonal cycle of A. planipennis might allow this species to move behind the northern limit of ash’s continuous range. Ashes are often used for planting in cities and other populated places. Temperature in urban heat islands is higher than that outside populated places. Thus, ash trees planted in cities outside the established continuous range of ashes (i.e., in St. Petersburg), can still be infested by the emerald ash borer. To spread, the beetle can use ashes planted in tree belts along highways or in some cases can be carried by cars. Keeping this in mind, it is very important to know distribution of ashes along highways from Moscow to large cities located northwards and monitor the pest in Novgorod, Saint Petersburg and Petrozavodsk.