Failure under stress: the effect of the exotic herbivore Adelges tsugae on biomechanics of Tsuga canadensis.

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Annals of botany, ISSN: 1095-8290, Vol: 113, Issue: 4, Page: 721-30

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PMC3936583; 3936583
Soltis, Nicole E.; Gomez, Sara; Leisk, Gary G.; Sherwood, Patrick; Preisser, Evan L.; Bonello, Pierluigi; Orians, Colin M.
Oxford University Press (OUP); DigitalCommons@URI
Agricultural and Biological Sciences
article description
Exotic herbivores that lack a coevolutionary history with their host plants can benefit from poorly adapted host defences, potentially leading to rapid population growth of the herbivore and severe damage to its plant hosts. The hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) is an exotic hemipteran that feeds on the long-lived conifer eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), causing rapid mortality of infested trees. While the mechanism of this mortality is unknown, evidence indicates that A. tsugae feeding causes a hypersensitive response and alters wood anatomy. This study investigated the effect of A. tsugae feeding on biomechanical properties at different spatial scales: needles, twigs and branches.