Navigation Links
Homeowners, taxpayers pay billions to fight invasive pests
Date:9/9/2011

Homeowners and taxpayers are picking up most of the tab for damage caused by invasive tree-feeding insects that hide in packing materials, live plants and other goods imported from countries into the United States every year.

Results from a first-of-its-kind economic analysis, which estimates financial damage of importing foreign insects into the nation and trying to eradicate them once they establish, are reported in the journal PLoS One today.

The authors, which include University of Central Florida Biologist Betsy Von Holle, looked at three types of invasive pests that feed on U.S. trees, the emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, and hemlock woolly adelgid. Using actual costs, researchers calculated the economic damages for five categories: federal governments, local governments, households, residential property value losses and timber value losses to forest landowners. The costs were staggering.

The costs of invasive forest insects to local governments is on average more than $2 billion per year and residential property value loss due to forest insects averages $ 1.5 billion a year. The federal government spends on average about $216 million a year.

"It is costing taxpayers billions as the government tries to eradicate these invaders," Von Holle said. "We're losing a variety of native species as a result of importing these pests. It's not just aesthetics. It's impacting our economy and our analysis shows just how much it is costing all of us, not just government."

Wood-boring insects such as the emerald ash borer and the Asian longhorned beetle alone cost local governments an estimated $1.7 billion. Approximately $830 million is lost in residential property values each year.

The research team was composed of scientists from U.S. and Canadian universities and the U.S. Forest Service. The team's analysis also can be applied to other countries that face similar problems.

"Obviously, international trade has tremendous benefits, but it also has costs," said Juliann E. Aukema, the lead author and a scientist with the University of California at Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). "The regulations we currently have aren't keeping the pests out. We need to strengthen regulations and enforcement of them to protect our forests and our economy."

Wood-boring insects are not the only troublesome pests. Foliage feeders and sap feeders cause an estimated $410 million and $260 million, respectively, in lost residential property value each year.

And the costs will likely continue as there is a 32 percent risk that a new invader will enter the country in the next 10 years, exacting even more damage.

In addition to the three pests used for the study, researchers also used an exhaustive database of established non-native forest insects, and a novel modeling approach to arrive at their results. The authors have developed an analytical framework that can be used in any country where data are available. The framework can be easily adapted for estimating costs in other natural resource sectors, including fire, disease, and water quality, at scales from municipalities to nations.

Co-authors include Brian Leung and Corey Chivers from McGill University, Montreal; Ken Kovacs of the University of Minnesota; Kerry O. Britton, Susan J. Frankel, Robert G. Haight, Thomas P. Holmes and Andrew M. Liebhold from the U.S. Forest Service; Jeffrey Englin from Arizona State University, and Deborah G. McCullough from Michigan State University. The Nature Conservancy supported the group's work.

Von Holle joined UCF in 2007 after working at the Smithsonian's Environmental Research Center, Harvard University and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Von Holle has a bachelor's of science in Ecology, Behavior & Evolution from the University of California at San Diego and a Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She has received multiple awards and grants from many institutions including the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The California native also has published many articles. One paper, "Ecological resistance to biological invasion overwhelmed by propagule pressure" was identified by Essential Science Indicators as an Emerging Research Front, , which means it is one of the most-cited papers in a highlighted research area in the field of Environment/Ecology. . Essential Science Indicators is a resource that enables researchers to conduct ongoing, quantitative analyses of research performance and track trends in science.


'/>"/>

Contact: Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala
zenaida.kotala@ucf.edu
407-823-6120
University of Central Florida
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. BioNeutrals Ygiene(TM) New Hospital Grade Disinfectant Will Save Lives and Billions of Dollars Annually at Health Care Facilities Around the World
2. Integrated Prevention Demonstration Campaign Launched in Western Kenya to Fight HIV, Malaria and Diarrhoeal Disease
3. Doctors in the US and Netherlands Using Fast RapidArc Radiotherapy Technology to Help Fight Cancer are Now Treating Tumors of the Head and Neck
4. Massachusetts Company May Have Silver Bullet In Vitamin D Fight Against Disease
5. Research Shows How AHCC(R) May Help Fight Flu and Other Infectious Agents
6. New Innovation Set to Revolutionise Spray Technology - Used to Protect Against the Scottish Biting Midge & Help Fight MRSA in the NHS
7. The Plasmodium vivax genome provides new routes and challenges in the global fight against malaria
8. BIO Ventures for Global Health Receives $7 Million Grant from Gates Foundation to Engage Biotechnology in the Fight Against Neglected Diseases of the Developing World
9. Pharos Innovations Joins Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
10. DaVita Launches Flu Fighter Program in Support of National Influenza Week
11. bioMerieux Introduces Surveillance Tool to Fight Healthcare-Associated Infections
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Homeowners, taxpayers pay billions to fight invasive pests
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Cancer experts from ... believe could be a new and helpful biomarker for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Surviving ... to read it now. , Biomarkers are components in the blood, tissue ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. Hoffmann, ... faculty of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School effective ... at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading classes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including policies, ... entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to ... he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is set ... "In certain areas there needs ... economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical journal articles ... findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma website. ... blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point doctors to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/22/2016)... American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was once again ... of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest 50 Awards ... Las Vegas . Winners are ... of the following categories: net square feet of paid exhibit ... 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out of 50 ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... , June 21, 2016 NuData ... the new role of principal product architect and ... the director of customer development. Both will report ... technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth ... response to high customer demand and customer focus ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , June 15, 2016 ... published a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market ... Trends and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the ... at USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is ... and reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):