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Education and Outreach Programs

Lemont High School ESRP 2017

Continued Observations from X-ray Elemental Analysis of Ash Tree species related to the Growth of Emerald Ash Borer populations

Authors:

  • Students:
    • Mira Antonopoulos
    • Armand Cantu
    • Gillian Connolly
    • Abigail Dasbach
    • Zachary McFarland
    • Shannon O’Donnell
    • Ethan Potts
    • Joseph Spinelli
    • Lauren Toma
  • Teachers:
    • Erin Horan
  • Mentors:
    • Olga Antipova (Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source)
    • Chuck Cannon (Morton Arboretum)
    • Joseph Jakes (Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source)
    • Qiaoling Jin (Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source)
    • Robert Winarski (Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source)

Advanced Photon Source Sector 2: Microscopy

For the last couple of summers, a pest devastated our area and killed millions of trees in America – the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This small beetle traveled here in wooden packing crates from Asia and has been destroying the ash tree populations across the country for over 10 years. The larvae of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer live in and feed off of the ash trees’ vascular cambium region, making them unable to transport water and nutrients up and down the trunk. Some species of ash are more susceptible to the beetle, while others do not attract it.

The purpose of this study is to analyze cells from different types of ash trees – some borer-resistant and some not – and to determine the concentration of different elements throughout the layers of bark. The findings in this experiment may help researchers understand why some species are more resistant to the EAB than others. This information may help scientists protect non-resistant ash trees from future invasions.

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