‘Dev­as­tat­ing in­sect’

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - NATION -

Dan Herms, an en­to­mol­o­gist at Ohio State Univer­sity who stud­ies the ash borer, called it “the most dev­as­tat­ing in­sect ever to in­vade North Amer­i­can forests.”

It’s al­ready the most ex­pen­sive be­cause it has killed so many ur­ban trees that had to be re­moved, dis­posed of and re­placed, which has cost bil­lions of dol­lars, he said.

Herms, who was not in­volved in the IUCN pro­ject, said he’s not sure the ash species will lit­er­ally dis­ap­pear. But he said they could be­come “func­tion­ally ex­tinct,” with pop­u­la­tions too small to play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the en­vi­ron­ment for ben­e­fits such as pro­vid­ing shel­ter and fil­ter­ing wa­ter.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

Mike Groll The As­so­ci­ated Press

An emer­ald ash borer lar­vae is re­moved from an ash tree in Sauger­ties, N.Y.

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