Incidentally introduced in 2002, the expansion of emerald ash borer (EAB) led to widespread ash mortality throughout the eastern United States. A great deal of effort has been invested in containing and controlling this forest invasive species, whereas the ability to regenerate ash from extant seedling and sapling populations following the initial EAB invasion has received less attention. Using recent data available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis program (FIA), we quantified ash seedling and sapling regeneration counts across FIA forest type groups containing white, green, black, blue, pumpkin, and Carolina ash. In addition, all other seedling and sapling species in these stands were quantified to determine overall species composition of the regeneration and the potential for inter-specific competition. Ash seedlings and saplings represented the greatest proportion of regeneration across most forest type groups containing mature ash. Top competitors of ash tended to be far less economically and ecologically valuable. If retaining ash in current stands remains a management goal, and provided that an effective biological control for EAB is identified and established across infested areas, the success of extant ash seedlings and saplings into larger size classes will depend on silvicultural treatments designed for controlling inter-specific competition across stand cohorts.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
- Advanced regeneration
- Emerald ash borer
- Forest type groups
- Fraxinus spp. (Oleaceae)