Exotic pests of eastern forests conference proceedingsThis article contains other documents. View all titles contained within this article here.
Invasive exotic pest plants, diseases, and insects, have had a dramatic impact on the health and composition of the Eastern forests for many decades. Chestnut blight was discovered in the United States in 1904. Since then, it has virtually destroyed the chestnut population, which once occupied 25 percent of the eastern forest. In the 1860's, the gypsy moth was accidentally released in Massachusetts. Since then, it has become established in 16 states, and for most of the past 15 years, has defoliated a million acres of hardwood trees each year. Kudzu was introduced into the United States in 1876, and later distributed to many states in an effort to control agricultural erosion. It did not control erosion; rather, it became one of the most serious pest plants in the southeast, where it now covers seven million acres. The Exotic Pests of Eastern Forests Conference was developed to make the audience more aware of the many invasive exotic pests in eastern forests, and the impact which they have had on the ecosystem; and to warn the audience of the potential devastation that could occur if prevention and control measures are not developed and utilized soon.