Therese Poland and team publish study on basket-makers’ traditional practices effects on emerald ash borer

MSU Entomology adjunct associate professor Therese Poland, who is also a research entomologist with the Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, was the lead author of a study published in the journal “Agricultural and Forest Entomology”.

July 20, 2017 - Author: By Cameron Macko, IPM Program Communications Assistant

MSU Entomology adjunct associate professor Therese Poland.
MSU Entomology adjunct associate professor Therese Poland.

MSU Entomology adjunct associate professor Therese Poland, who is also a research entomologist with the Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, was the lead author of a study published in the journal “Agricultural and Forest Entomology” that shed light on how American Indian black ash log storage traditions can help kill their main pest of the ask logs used in traditional basket-making.

Poland was part of a United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service research team, which worked with the Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Potawatomi Indians in a study combining traditional native ecological knowledge and science. They found basket-makers’ traditional way of storing black ash logs – by submerging them underwater for different periods of time – can kill emerald ash borer.

By submerging the logs for 18 weeks during winter or 14 weeks during spring, the team found the practice can preserve the logs for traditional basket-making and kill the larvae living under the trees’ bark, preventing adults from emerging.

In an interview with Native News Online, Poland said, “Insects have a remarkable ability to adapt and survive. In the winter, emerald ash borer larvae survive longer because they are already dormant and are acclimated to the cold. In the spring, we found larvae surviving for several weeks in submerged logs, possibly because the tree’s bark protects them from contact with water for some period of time.”

Read more from Native News Online at “Basketmakers’ tradition of storing black ash logs in water effective in killing EAB.”

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