by Bob Yirka , Phys.org Credit: CC0 Public Domain A team of researchers from Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found that trees in the United States are facing devastating threats due to invasive species.
In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes analyzing thousands of forest plots across the U.S. and the mortality rates due to 15 major tree pest infestations, and what they found.
Now, forest trees confront a new threat—infestation by invasive pests unintentionally introduced into the country.
Prior research has shown that there are now approximately 450 invasive tree pests in the U.S. that damage or kill trees.
In this new effort, the researchers set a goal of learning the scale of the threat U.S. forests face.
To gain some perspective on the threats to U.S. forestlands, the researchers carried out an analysis of 92,978 forest plots from across the country.
They noted tree types in each plot and the rates of infestation by 15 major tree-killing pests.