The Impact of Predation of Laricobius nigrinus (Coleoptera: Derodontidae) on Adelges tsugae (Hemiptera: Adelgidae) and Tsuga canadensis (Pinales: Pinaceae) Tree Health

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2023-03-29

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MDPI

Abstract

The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), Adelges tsugae, has threatened the sustainable management of Tsuga canadensis in the eastern United States. Biological control efforts have led to the establishment of Laricobius nigrinus, a specialist predator of HWA. Although L. nigrinus has a significant impact on HWA populations, its effect on the health of HWA’s host is unknown. In 2020, 14 eastern hemlocks at one site in Virginia were selected to determine whether predation of L. nigrinus at different densities on HWA populations had an effect on tree health. Laricobius nigrinus predation significantly impacted the HWA sistens generation, resulting in significantly more new shoots produced on treatment branches with the greatest density of L. nigrinus adults. Final HWA density was lowest on treatment branches with L. nigrinus, followed by the negative control, and the treatment without L. nigrinus. In June, the photosynthetic rate was significantly greater for the negative control, followed by L. nigrinus treatments. There were no statistical differences among measured tree physiological parameters in July and October, indicating a temporary effect from L. nigrinus predation on hemlock tree physiology.

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Preston, C.E.; Arneson, A.; Seiler, J.R.; Salom, S.M. The Impact of Predation of Laricobius nigrinus (Coleoptera: Derodontidae) on Adelges tsugae (Hemiptera: Adelgidae) and Tsuga canadensis (Pinales: Pinaceae) Tree Health. Forests 2023, 14, 698.