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College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


The rapid and extensive expansion of emerald ash borer (EAB) in North America since 2002 may eliminate most existing ash stands, likely affecting critical ecosystem services associated with water and carbon cycling. To our knowledge, no studies have evaluated the coupled response of black ash (Fraxinus nigra Marsh.) wetland water tables, soil temperatures, and soil gas fluxes to an EAB infestation. Water table position, soil temperature, and soil CO2 and CH4 fluxes were monitored in nine depressional headwater black ash wetlands in northern Michigan. An EAB disturbance was simulated by girdling (girdle) or felling (ash-cut) all black ash trees with diameters greater than 2.5 cm within treated wetlands (n = 3 per treatment). Soil gas fluxes were sensitive to water table position, temperature, and disturbance. Soil CO2 fluxes were significantly higher, and high soil CH4 fluxes occurred more frequently in disturbed sites. Soil CH4 fluxes in ash-cut were marginally significantly higher than girdle during post-treatment, yet both were similar to control sites. The strong connection between depressional black ash wetland study sites and groundwater likely buffered the magnitude of disturbance-related impact on water tables and carbon cycling.

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© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( Publisher’s version of record:

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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