A harmful visitor who thrives because of climate change: Adelges tsugae

Adelges tsugae or Woolly adelgid is a Hemlock-destroying insect which infests New England forests because New England winters are getting warmer.

Here’s what it looks like on one of our Hemlock trees.

Of note is that Finzi, et al (2020) found that the Hemlock subforest of the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research site became a CO2 source rather than a CO2 after its Adelges infestation.

NEP in hemlock-dominated forests averaged \approx 450\;g\;C\cdot{}m^{-2}\cdot{}yr^{-1} until infestation by the hemlock [W]oolly [A]delgid turned these stands into a net C source.

Reference:

Finzi, Adrien C., Marc‐André Giasson, Audrey A. Barker Plotkin, John D. Aber, Emery R. Boose, Eric A. Davidson, Michael C. Dietze et al. "Carbon budget of the Harvard Forest Long‐Term Ecological Research site: pattern, process, and response to global change." Ecological Monographs 90, no. 4 (2020): e01423.

Want to save New England forests? Stop emitting CO2 and build solar farms, even if there’s some forest loss! And harm to forests isn’t the only byproduct. People spray Hemlocks to control this beastie, and the solutions are not good for wetlands.

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This entry was posted in climate change, climate disruption, global warming, Woolly adelgid. Bookmark the permalink.

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