Global climate change has already affected the abundances, range limits, and interactions of many species. The hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae), an invasive insect introduced to eastern North America from Japan, has decimated stands of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlock (T. caroliniana) from Georgia to Connecticut. However, its spread across central and northern New England has been slowed substantially by its inability to tolerate cold winter temperatures. Using data from previous lab and field studies collected over the past 17 years, including adelgid spread and overwintering mortality, we first characterize the temperature conditions that may limit adelgid spread. We then show how, in the future, rising winter temperatures due to climate change are likely to remove the conditions currently limiting adelgid spread, and facilitate the northward expansion as more suitable habitat becomes available.
|Journal||Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change|
|State||Published - Oct 11 2007|