Introduction of European oak bark beetle into North America would probably have its greatest impact on the eastern hardwood-dominated forests. In Europe, this bark beetle feeds on branches and secondary shoots of various hardwood species, including oaks (Quercus), chestnuts (Castanea), beech (Fagus), birch (Betula), poplars (Populus), willows (Salix), and elms (Ulmus) (USDA APHIS & Forest Service, 2000). The insect targets recently dead, felled, and stressed trees. The beetle has been found to vector a wide variety of fungi, including pathogenic species. Dunnage is the primary vector for the European oak bark beetle, and establishment potential is considered high if introduced (USDA APHIS & Forest Service 2000).
USFS scientists and managers developed a conservation priority-setting framework for forest tree species at risk from pest & pathogens and other threats. The Project CAPTURE (Conservation Assessment and Prioritization of Forest Trees Under Risk of Extirpation) uses FIA data and expert opinion to group tree species under threat by non-native pests into vulnerability classes and specify appropriate management and conservation strategies. The scientists prioritized 419 tree species native to the North American continent. The analysis identified 15 taxonomic groups requiring the most immediate conservation intervention because of the tree species’ exposure to an extrinsic threat, their sensitivity to the threat, and their ability to adapt to it. Each of these 15 most vulnerable species, and several additional species, should be the focus of both a comprehensive gene conservation program and a genetic resistance screening and development effort. European oak bark beetle is not known to be a threat to any of these 15 most vulnerable species.
Potter, K.M., Escanferla, M.E., Jetton, R.M., Man, G., Crane, B.S., Prioritizing the conservation needs of US tree spp: Evaluating vulnerability to forest insect and disease threats, Global Ecology and Conservation (2019), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/
United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Forest Service 2000. Pest Risk Assessment for Importation of Solid Wood Packing Materials into the United States. USDA APHIS and Forest Service. August 2000.