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Predicting the potential for spread of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) in Great Britain: What can we learn from other affected areas?

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Mona, T 
Gilligan, CA 


jats:titleSocietal Impact Statement</jats:title>jats:sec<jats:label />jats:pEmerald ash borer (EAB) is thought to have arrived in North America and European Russia at least 10 years prior to detection. Despite heightened awareness that EAB could invade Great Britain (GB), detection in the early stages of establishment is difficult, and initial symptoms might be mistaken for Chalara ash dieback. Our results suggest that if partial resistance to EAB in jats:italicFraxinus excelsior</jats:italic> does not significantly dampen EAB population dynamics, then EAB could establish and spread across large parts of southern England within a relatively short time period; however, further northern spread may be limited by the relatively cool climate.</jats:p></jats:sec>jats:secjats:titleSummary</jats:title>jats:p <jats:list list-type="bullet">

jats:list-itemjats:pThe accidental introduction of emerald ash borer (EAB) to North America and European Russia in the 1990s has resulted in an ongoing crisis with millions of ash trees damaged and killed at immense economic and social cost. Improving our understanding of how rapidly the pest might spread should it enter Great Britain (GB) plays an essential part in planning for a potential outbreak.</jats:p></jats:list-item>

jats:list-itemjats:pTwo metrics are used to investigate the potential dynamics of EAB in GB: the observed rate of spread in the North American and Russian regions; and the relationship between degree days and emergence that may determine environmental suitability and whether the life cycle is univoltine or semivoltine.</jats:p></jats:list-item>

jats:list-itemjats:pThe pest is still spreading in North America and European Russia with an overall average rate of spread between 2002 and 2018 of approximately 50 km a year. Early detection of the pest is difficult, but a similar delay in detection to that in North America would result in a costly and hard to control outbreak. Comparison of degree days between regions suggests that a semivoltine life cycle is most likely in most areas of GB but spread maybe limited by the relatively cool climate in parts of GB.</jats:p></jats:list-item>

jats:list-itemjats:pThere are several potentially important differences in the biophysical environment in GB compared with North America and European Russia. However, the speed with which it has invaded these areas highlights the need for early surveillance and mitigations to minimise human‐mediated spread of this highly destructive pest.</jats:p></jats:list-item> </jats:list> </jats:p></jats:sec>



Agrilus planipennis, degree days, emerald ash borer, epidemiology, Fraxinus excelsior, spatial spread

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Plants People Planet

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