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Estimating the presence of the emerald ash borer in the DePauw Nature Park

Laura Franciso, Jillian Snow, and Julia Grace Reinke
Conservation Biology, BIO 342, Biology Department, DePauw University
Fall semester 2017

Introduction
The goal of our study was to assess the prevalence of the emerald ash borer in ash trees located along the eastern portion of the Rim Trail, R2, in the DePauw Nature Park.

Research questions
1.)  Is there evidence of emerald ash borer infection of ash trees along the eastern portion of the Rim Trail?
2.)  If there is evidence, how prevalent is the emerald ash borer infection in this area?
3.)  What size of ash trees are most affected by the emerald ash borer in this area?

Methods
We set up transects every 10 meters along the eastern portion of the Rim Trail, R2.  The transects were laid out perpendicular to the trail and extended from the trail to the county road.  Along each transect, we mapped, measured, and tagged all ash trees.  We looked for signs of emerald ash borer infection at each ash tree.  Signs of infection included D-shaped holes in the lower trunk, basal shoots or suckers, and serpentine galleries under the bark.  

Results
We mapped, measured, and tagged a total of 100 ash trees.  We assigned the ash trees to specific size classes:  small (6 to 10 cm in diameter), medium (10 to 20 cm in diameter), and large (over 20 cm in diameter).   We observed signs of emerald ash borer infection in 68 ash trees.  There were no differences in the level of infection among small, medium, or large ash trees. 

Discussion
Our results indicate that the emerald ash borer has arrived in the DePauw Nature Park.  It has infested nearly 70 percent of the ash trees along the eastern portion of the Rim Trail.  Most of the infected ash trees will die in the next several years.  The emerald ash borer is likely to continue spreading and infecting more ash trees in the park.