Long Term Beetle

Effects on the Forest Ecosystem and Way of Life

The Asian Longhorned Beetle implements many problems on its ecosystem, which affects biotic and abiotic factors greatly.

Biotic Factors

Firstly, their infestations have caused the deaths of many trees including maple, horsechestnuts, poplars, willows, elms, mulberries, black locusts and many more. After infestation the trees must be cut down and the wood of the tree is destroyed to prevent further spreading of this pest. The Asian Longhorned Beetle kills the tree by destroying its cambial layer, which sustains the trees life. The mature beetles then burrow out of the trees and leave behind holes the size of ballpoint pens. The only way to control the species is to cut down the healthy trees which they have infested, it is a tragedy but it is the only way to eliminate the spread.

Here are some examples of the damage created by the Asian Longhorned Beetle (pictures provided by www.asian-longhorned-beetle.com) :

Since beetle larvae is inside the tree for most of the year, the larvae can easily and unintentionally move into firewood, live trees and untreated lumber. In infested areas (such as northern Toronto) quarantines have been set up to eliminate spread of the infested lumber, so no lumber can exit or enter the area.

The beetle is not a threat to human or animal health; they are harmed when their habitat is gone. Some of the animals which get affected when the trees have been eliminated are Least Flycatchers, a very common hardwood bird, as well many birds that live on the forest floor depend on the trees for shelter and shade, such as the Wood Thrush which also depends on the leaves which the tree gives.

Without these trees the animals of the forest will be negatively affected because they have lost their resource which provides them with food, shelter, and a healthy ecosystem.

To conclude the Asian Longhorned Beetle shows many negative implications on the environment it is inhabiting, and it proves to show no substantial contribution to the environment either.


The Asian Longhorned Beetle causes trouble for the ecosystem they live in; they infest and kill many hardwood trees that are the building blocks for making that ecosystem successful.

Since they destroy trees which provide shade, the temperature and the amount of sunlight for that area increases, which can be a problem for many animals or plants receiving harsh light. The area will also allow more rain to come into the forest, and may even flood, which pulls up roots and can then flood many plants and harm animals. As well, less oxygen will be produced if there are fewer trees to produce it, which causes a major strain to our already unhealthy planet.

All in all the beetle causes many problems for the Abiotic factors and proves to be no help to our ecosystems.

Information Posted By: Emily Finnegan
Edited By: Hailey Vasyliw

“Asian long-horned Beetle.” 2007. Government of British Columbia. 10 Jan 2008.
“Algonquin Hardwood Forest.” (Date not reported) The Science Behind Algonquin’s Animals. 10 Jan 2008. <http://www.sbaa.ca/assets/attachments/cms/hardwood_forest_text.pdf>

TreeHelp.com: Asian Longhorned Beetle. 2005. 10 Jan 2008.

Dee Dee Tardif's Information:

Effects on the Toronto Ecosystem and Way of Life

external image toronto.jpg (The City of Toronto, as seen from a view from Lake Ontario. Image from <www.globespan.com/tours/ singletoronto/toronto.jpg>.)

The Asian Longhorned Beetle provides a threat not only to the forest ecosystem, but to the Toronto ecosystem as well. Due to the fact that Toronto is a major metropolis, there are not as many trees present as one might find further north. Although this means that there are not as many hardwood trees to be affected by the beetle, it also means that the ecosystem is less stable, and each tree is needed to help keep the delicate balance.

external image alhb.jpg (The Asian Longhorned Beetle. Image from http://www.toronto.ca/parks/asian-long-horn-beetle.htm)

Biotic Factors:
Although the Asian Longhorned Beetle is not a direct threat to human or animal health, it burrows inside hardwood trees, causing them to eventually die. This destroys habitats for many creatures that live in and around the trees, as well as reducing the amount of vegetation available for food.
Despite the fact that the beetle has destroyed many trees, in the city it has also alerted many people of the importance of planting and maintaining trees in Toronto. To put it bluntly, the beetle acted as a sort of “wake-up call” to the urgency of renewing the urban forest. The tree planting that the beetle has indirectly initiated provides many more habitats and helps to sustain the current balance in the ecosystem in the city.
In addition to destroying habitats, the reduction in the number of hardwood trees made by the Asian Longhorned Beetle affects human industries due to the decline in primary resources. This affects the ecosystem because it may result in humans having to rely on other resources for income and use. This means that a higher demand will be put on other resources in the ecosystem. In addition to this, if the number of hardwood trees continues to decrease and hardwood trees continue to be at risk, people who work in the lumber industry and others who work directly with hardwood may lose their jobs. This would affect the ecosystem because, if the issue continues to expand, it will affect the economy by having a large unemployment rate. All of the people that are unemployed will need to search for other jobs, and this could possibly involve using new resources or greater amounts of the already discovered resources.
In addition to this, trees provide nourishment to many different creatures, and with the number of trees decreased the animals that rely on them for food will either not have enough food or will have to search for other sources of food. If the animals do not find enough food to eat, it will affect the balance in the Toronto ecosystem by the abscence of that species, thereby affecting all of the species that are directly or indirectly connected to them. If the species are able to find other sources of food, it could affect the species' way of life as well as the way of life of the item that they consume (e.g. the species could start rummaging through garbage, etc.).
Tree infested by the Asian Longhorned Beetle
Tree infested by the Asian Longhorned Beetle

(Image from: <http://www.amny.com/news/local/am-beetle0522,0,4341345.story>.)

Abiotic Factors:
Despite the many affects that the Asian Longhorned Beetle indirectly and directly has on the biotic aspects of the ecosystem, it does not leave the abiotic factors unaltered, either. As mentioned before, Toronto is a large city with many people, cars, and factories in the surrounding area. As we have learned, all of these things release carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide that is also released, not only by machines but by people and animals as well, makes the atmosphere thicker and traps the Sun’s rays; this results in climate change. This is where the plants (including trees) come into play. Instead of emitting carbon dioxide, plants “inhale” it and “exhale” oxygen through a process called diffusion. To tie this back to the Asian Longhorned Beetle, with fewer trees in the city ecosystem, the air quality will continue to decrease, posing significant problems not only for Canada, but around the world.
In addition to this, although this is not seen as significantly in the city as it is in larger forests, the shade, water and nutrients that the trees provided is also no longer present, potentially altering the habitat of other burrowing creatures.

In conclusion, the Asian Longhorned Beetle provides a lot of stress on our city ecosystem.

Information posted by Dee Dee Tardif

Information checked by Emily Finnegan

“Asian Longhorned Beetle.” No date updated given. Government of Toronto. 10 January 2008

Silverman, Justin Rocket. "Tree Infested with the Asian Longhorned Beetle." AM New York. 2008. 5 February 2008