The emerald ash borer is on its way – it’s already here in some places – and that means virtually all ash trees will soon be dead. Before that happens, Dartmouth College and University of Vermont researchers are rushing to record the ecology of a 509-acre section of Vermont forest where up to 40% of the canopy is ash. The Valley News has a story (here).
Their goals are twofold: to record the threatened ecosystem with the ash — a genus of tree that has long been an integral element of northern hardwood forests — and to develop the best strategies to manage a forest to be resilient.
“I know from history that whenever we see a big invasive something come through — chestnut blight, elm — this kind of ecosystem vanishes. It’s gone; it never returns,” Lutz said. “I wanted to monitor and capture the particular unique ecosystem that will never exist again. We have a couple of years before it all changes.”