Freight transportation and invasive species in urban and peri-urban forests
Investigators: Manuel Colunga-Garcia, Robert Haack, and Adesoji Adelaja.
Published in: Journal of Economic Entomology 102 (1): 237-246 (PDF version).
Funding acknowledgement: NRI-USDA/CSREES 2006-55605-166.58
Abstract: Freight transportation is an important pathway for the introduction and dissemination of exotic forest insects (EFI). Identifying the final destination of imports is critical in determining the likelihood of EFI establishment.
We analyzed the use of regional freight transport information to characterize risk of urban and periurban areas to EFI introductions. Specific objectives were to
Freight pattern analyses were conducted for three categories of imports whose products or packaging materials are associated with EFI: wood products, nonmetallic mineral products, and machinery.
The final distribution of wood products was the most evenly distributed of the three selected imports, whereas machinery was most spatially concentrated. We found that the type of import and the world region of origin greatly influence the final distribution of imported products. Risk assessment models were built based on the amount of forestland and imports for each urban area. The model indicated that: 84-88% of the imported tonnage went to only 4-6% of the urban areas in the contiguous United States. We concluded that freight movement information is critical for proper risk assessment of EFI.