Emerald Ash Borer
By Emma Sarver
Humans depend on biodiversity for resources, but humans are negatively impacting biodiversity. Sustaining biodiversity is essential to life on Earth.
How do Emerald Ash Borers affect Iowa's ecosystem?
The EAB affects our ecosystem by the adults laying their eggs in the trees' bark and the larva eating the bark. The reason it's such a big deal is because they kill the trees and the trees fall on houses, people, cars, in fields and damage homes, people, and can break farming equipment in fields.
Why is the Emerald Ash Borer a problem?
The EAB (Emerald Ash Borer) is a problem because it makes our trees weak so they could fall over at any time and cause a lot of damage.
One solution to killing the EAB is to use tree injections to kill the bugs and add fertilizer to the tree to help it bounce back from all the poison. This solution kills the larva eating the Ash Tree causing less EAB to make it to adulthood. Since they can't reach adulthood, they can't reproduce so there would be less EAB. Injections are made in the bottom 18 inches of the tree, at intervals of around 6 inches apart. The depth for the injection is between 5/8” and 1 5/8” into the tree. A 10 inch diameter tree would receive approximately a 1.5 ounce injection for two years of protection. It costs about $53 per 17 inch diameter tree. It would be difficult to inject every single tree. But with a 2 year protection we could get most trees and hopefully save some Ash Trees. After about 10 years we would have to come up with a new injection because the EAB could adapt to the first injection. So after several injections we would have to come up with a new injection to keep the bugs away.
Evaluation for Solution 1
Personally I think the best solution would be to inject trees with an injection. Yes, we would have to advance it, but overall it would save our ecosystem. Yes it's expensive, but it's not near as expensive as cutting down all the trees. The injections and fertilizer boost our ecosystem
Another solution is to cut down all the infected trees and burn them. This solution saves homes and people from damages before an infected Ash Tree could fall and cause hundreds of thousands of dollars. This process also kills larva inside the tree so they can't make it to adulthood and reproduce. The only problem is that it costs $150-$1500 to just remove a tree. Then $60- $350 to remove the stump or $75-$1000 for a stump grinding. After taking a tree down it should be a law that you have to plant 2 to take it's place. Because we can't cut down tree after tree and expect no change.
Evaluation for solution 2
Cutting down all the infected trees is not only expensive and damaging to our ecosystem, but it's extremely time consuming. We would have to hire men/women to find the infected trees. Then we would have to pay people to cut the trees down and transport the cut down wood. And then we would be transporting the EAB all over the state of Iowa by moving the infected trees all over after cutting them down. I think this is the worst solution.
Another solution would be to release Parasitic Wasps to go kill the EAB. The wasps don't harm humans and kill the EAB. Introducing the wasp could possibly kill most of the EAB and save humans from having to pay for the damages that the EAB causes us. The parasitic wasp is also gardener friendly. The only down side to introducing Parasitic Wasps is that they will thrive. But since they don't harm humans or crops, it should be perfectly safe.
evaluation for solution 3
My last solution I had was to bring in Parasitic Wasps. The wasps aren't harmful to humans or any crops and are known for eating the Emerald Ash Borer. But one downside to releasing wasps is that we don't know if they will continue to eat the EAB or if they will choose a new food source and damage our economy even more. They could decide they want to eat our butterflies and our plant and flower production would be off because the butterflies wouldn't be as plentiful and helping taking pollen around. I think the wasps could work but isn't our safest bet. If we can find a way to kill off the EAB without introducing a new species, that could turn into an invasive species, I think we should do that first.
Claims, Evidence, Best solution?
In my opinion the best solution is to use tree injections. I think this is the best solution because it doesn't harm the environment at all and it's safe for all plants, animals, and families. It's time consuming and slightly expensive, but it will help us more than cutting down trees and releasing an unknown animal. This solution also holds for two years, so we don't have to do it every week or keep up on it every few months.