Insect pests continue to threaten trees near Lake Superior, BWCA
Photo by Josh Kragthorpe, USDA
Outdoor News

Insect pests continue to threaten trees near Lake Superior, BWCA

Spruce, balsam fir and tamarack trees continue to face threats from insects throughout northeastern Minnesota.

New research from the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at the University of Minnesota Duluth finds the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) threatens to irreversibly alter the structure and functioning of black ash-dominated wetlands in the region.

Black ash wetlands cover approximately 1.2 million acres of wetland forest in the western Great Lakes. They are an ecologically significant part of Minnesota’s landscapes and provide critical habitat for wildlife.

The study was recently published in the journal Ecological Applications and represents a comprehensive assessment of the potential impacts of EAB and associated adaptation strategies on wildlife species dependent on black ash wetland forests.

“EAB is a serious and immediate threat to black ash wetlands, and the impacts in this region will be extensive with potential for large areas of forested wetlands converting to marsh-like conditions,” said Alexis Grinde, a wildlife biologist at NRRI and the lead author of the new study.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Grinde about the new study and ongoing threats to trees near Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.