Predicting forest succession in the wake of invasive species establishment

University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

SUMMARY: Forest health is declining due to a multitude of potentially invasive insects, pathogens, and plants. Research was proposed in April 2006 with the purpose of broadening the knowledge base on exotic species’ invasion, establishment, and ensuing interactions with endemic species by predicting forest ecosystem processes and structure following invasive species establishment. The objectives of this work are to utilize vegetation assessments and modeling of current forests in southeastern Kentucky to predict the outcome of establishment by selected non-native invasive species. This project seeks to (1) evaluate current vegetation and stand characteristics, and (2) predict the outcome of invasion and establishment of exotic bark/ambrosia beetles, the hemlock woolly adelgid, and sudden oak death on future forests of the region. This approach could be extrapolated to predict future forest structure and composition following establishment by additional non-native species.

EFETAC's ROLE: This project is supported by EFETAC funding.

STATUS: Completed


Spaulding, H.L. and L.K. Rieske. 2010. The aftermath of an invasion: Structure and composition of Central Appalachian hemlock forests following establishment of the hemlock woolly adelgid , Adelges tsugae. Biological Invasions 12:3135-3143. (PDF)

Spaulding, H.L. and L.K. Rieske. 2011. A glimpse at future forests: predicting the effects of Phytophthora ramorum on oak forests of southern Appalachia. Biological Invasions 13:1367-1375. (PDF)


Lynne Rieske-Kinney's Webpage


Lynne Rieske-Kinney, Forest Entomologist, University of Kentucky Department of Entomology, or (859) 257-1167


Updated April 2012

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