Arboretum of Eden

Welcome to the College of the Atlantic Arboretum

Diseases and Invasive Species

As Tom Wessels says in his book called “Reading the Forested Landscape,” New England ecosystems have evolved with natural disturbances such as fire, strong winds, and beaver activity. It is unclear how the ecosystems will react to relatively recent human activities in the form of farming, logging, and introduction of new species and diseases (Adapted from Wessels, T. “Reading the Forested Landscape” The Countryman Press (1997) Woodstock, Vermont.).

These pests are currently threatening to invade the region. Their impacts have short as well as long-term effects on the forest health and diversity. The examples are many and include hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand), gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica), or the Dutch elm disease (Ophiostoma ulmi).

Find out which plants have been attacked by exotic pests:

American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)

Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

American Elm (Ulmus americana)

To read more about the exotic pathogens and the Northeastern forests, look at: Forest ecosystem responses to exotic pests pathogens in eastern North America” by Lovett, G. et al.

Secondly, the awareness of invasive species has recently rapidly increased. The reasons for this are their negative effects on native plant communities and human economies. People are studying these effects as well as the management of the non-native species. The question is whether human-induced range expansion is significantly different that the changes that follow shifts in the Earth’s paleoclimate. (Lockwood, J., Hoopes, M., Marchetti, M. “Invasion Ecology” (2007) Blackwell Publishing Ltd).

In his article “Comparing invasive networks: Cultural and political biographies of invasive species”  Paul Robbins raises interesting questions about the current concepts and models of invasive species.

Learn about invasive plants species:

Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)

Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)

Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus)

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)

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