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Mapping of the Asian longhorned beetle’s time to maturity and risk to invasion at contiguous United States extent


Anoplophora glabripennis, the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), is an invasive species of high economic and ecological relevance given the potential it has to cause tree damage, and sometimes mortality, in the United States. Because this pest is introduced by transport in wood-packing products from Asia, ongoing trade activities pose continuous risk of transport and opportunities for introduction. Therefore, a geographic understanding of the spatial distribution of risk factors associated with ALB invasions is needed. Chief among the multiple risk factors are (a) the potential for infestation based on host tree species presence/absence, and (b) the temperature regime as a determinant of ALB’s growth time to maturity. This study uses an empirical model of ALB’s time to maturity as a function of temperature, along with a model of heat transfer in the wood of the host and spatial data describing host species presence/absence data, to produce a map of risk factors across the conterminous United States to define potential for ALB infestation and relative threat of impact. Results show that the region with greatest risk of ALB infestation is the eastern half of the country, with lower risk across most of the western half due to low abundance of host species, less urban area, and prevalence of cold, high elevations. Risk is high in southeastern states primarily because of temperature, while risk is high in northeastern and northern central states because of high abundance of host species.

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The authors thank Peter Meng for access to pre-publication host lists. Support for this research was provided by the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University, and the US Forest Service, Northern Research Station. We also thank the editor and 2 anonymous reviewers for comments on previous versions of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Alexander P. Kappel.

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Kappel, A.P., Trotter, R.T., Keena, M.A. et al. Mapping of the Asian longhorned beetle’s time to maturity and risk to invasion at contiguous United States extent. Biol Invasions 19, 1999–2013 (2017).

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  • Asian Longhorned Beetle
  • Anoplophora glabripennis
  • Invasion
  • Colonization
  • Risk
  • Maturity
  • United States
  • Modeling
  • Degree days
  • Temperature
  • Host species
  • Distribution
  • Instar