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Invasive Pests are Significantly Decreasing U.S. Forests’ Ability to Store Carbon

More than 450 non-native insects and diseases have found their way into U.S. forests, and the millions of trees killed by these pests each year contain more than 5.53 teragrams of carbon (TgC) — equal to the emissions of 4.4 million cars, or the carbon released by one-fifth of all wildfires in the U.S. annually, according to a new study.  The study, led by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Purdue University, looked at tree mortality from non-native pests at 92,978 field plots in the contiguous U.S. It focused on 83 pests known to have caused significant damage to U.S. forests, including the emerald ash borer, dutch elm disease, gypsy moth, and beech bark disease.  Read more.....

 

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