Invasive Insects in
Urban forests, the trees that are planted in cities and places where people live, provide millions of dollars in ecosystem services annually to people like you and me. However, we are losing millions of urban trees each year in the US alone, and urban trees on average live 20-30 years less than their counterparts in natural areas. This adds up to fewer ecosystem services and higher costs to replace dying trees.
The biggest threat to the urban forest is damage from introduced, invasive insects. My research explores how characteristics of urban environments, like vegetation, temperature, buildings, and paved surfaces, impact the density of these invasive insects on elm trees. This research can inform how we manage existing trees and where we plant future trees so that they are more resilient to insect attack. Additionally, this research helps us understand how invasive insects interact in urban forest ecosystems.
Publication: Buenrostro J & Hufbauer R (2022). Urban environments have species-specific associations with invasive insects herbivores. Journal of Urban Ecology, 8 (1). https://doi.org/10.1093/jue/juac011
Buenrostro J, Hufbauer R (2021). Invaders in the concrete jungle: Effects of urban environments on elm defoliators. Entomological Society of America, Annual Meeting. Denver, CO
Buenrostro J, Hufbauer R (2021). Chasing pavements: What causes insect outbreaks on city trees? GradShow, Colorado State University. https://hdl.handle.net/10217/234332
Both elm leaf beetle and elm flea weevil density decreased with greater leafminer density, suggesting that insect density is mediated by species interactions.