Eastern hemlock (tsuga canadensis) regeneration in the presence of hemlock woolly adelgid (adelges tsugae) and elongate hemlock scale (fiorinia externa)
Date of Original Version
The hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) is an invasive hemipteran that poses a major threat to eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière) forests in the United States. We conducted three surveys over a five-year period that assessed the density of hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) and a second invasive pest, the elongate hemlock scale (EHS; Fiorinia externa Ferris), overstory hemlock mortality, and hemlock regeneration in ~140 hemlock stands (mean size, 44 ha; range, 7-305 ha) within a 7500 km2 north-south transect of southern New England (USA). In each stand, we rated HWA and EHS density on 50 hemlock trees using a 0-3 scale (0, none; 1, 1-10 organisms/m branch; 2, 11-100 organisms/ m branch; 3, >100 organisms/m branch). Data on the presence or absence of regeneration were taken in 2005; in 2007 and 2009, we quantitatively assessed regeneration by counting the number of hemlock seedlings in three 16 m2 plots per stand. In 2005, 81% of sampled stands had HWA, 72% had EHS, and 66% had hemlock regeneration. In 2007, 86% of sampled stands had HWA, 79% had EHS, and 46% had hemlock regeneration. In 2009, 91% of stands had HWA, 87% had EHS, and 37% had hemlock regeneration. The proportion of stands with hemlock regeneration declined 46% between 2005 and 2009, and hemlock seedling density declined 71% between 2007 and 2009. A best-fit model selection algorithm found that this decrease was inversely correlated with stand-level adelgid density. There was no correlation between the change in seedling density and stand-level density of the elongate hemlock scale. The apparent decline in regeneration suggests that the ecosystem-level changes currently occurring in southern New England may be difficult to reverse.
Canadian Journal of Forest Research
Preisser, Evan L., Mailea R. Miller-Pierce, Jacqueline Vansant, and David A. Orwig. "Eastern hemlock (tsuga canadensis) regeneration in the presence of hemlock woolly adelgid (adelges tsugae) and elongate hemlock scale (fiorinia externa)." Canadian Journal of Forest Research 41, 12 (2011): 2433-2439. doi:10.1139/X11-155.