Long-term effects of imidacloprid on eastern hemlock canopy arthropod biodiversity in New England

Wing Yi Kung, Kelli Hoover, Richard Cowles, R. Talbot Trotter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The systemic insecticide imidacloprid is commonly used to protect trees against attack by the Adelges tsugae (Hemlock Woolly Adelgid [HWA]), an invasive pest that threatens Tsuga canadensis (Eastern Hemlock) and T. caroliniana (Carolina Hemlock) in eastern North America. Although there have been some studies documenting the short-term (1-3 years) impact of imidacloprid on non-target arthropods in hemlock systems, almost nothing is known about the impact over longer time scales. Here, using a set of trees which were experimentally treated 3 and 9 years prior to this study, we found that while the impact of imidacloprid on HWA may be approaching the limits of detection and efficacy on trees treated 9 years ago, there is still an intermittently detectable impact on HWA density. Similarly, 9 years after application there is a subtle but detectable increase in arthropod richness and a shift in canopy-arthropod community composition. Results from the 3-year treated trees were, however, ambiguous, but may be the result of detectable cross-contamination of insecticide among trees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)NENHC40-NENHC55
JournalNortheastern Naturalist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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