Species invasion is a complex issue that affects landscapes and urban ecology (Begon 15). This phenomenon is commonly spread almost in all territories around the globe. One of the illustrations of the phenomenon of species invasion is the spread of the gypsy moth in the northeastern and eastern area of the United States after the mistake of a landscape scholar Trouvelot leading to the insects escape and breeding in the natural conditions (Tobin et al. 131). This project aims at observing the problem of the gypsy moth invasion of the eastern territory of the United States including the state of New Jersey along with the implications that this specie invasion has for the landscape and urban ecology. In addition, the paper will discuss the solution of the existing problem.
Relationship of the Gypsy Caterpillar and the Environment
Gypsy moth affects the forested landscapes (Manderino, Crist, and Haynes 359). The trees that are in special risk group of being affected by this specie invasion are larch, alder, oak, poplar, pine, willow, hemlock, and spruce (Harrison, Keena, and Rowley 27). The damage caused by the insect is 100% associated with consumption of trees leaves by the caterpillars of this specie (Kretchun et al. 2). The outcome of the caterpillars’ invasion is the defoliation of the entire forests in vast territories in the east and north-east of the United States (Tobin et al. 131). The Fig. 1 demonstrates the way the living cycle of the gypsy moth has the negative implications for the environment and the local population.
Besides, the problem has implications for the residents among people because of the landscape effects of the gypsy moth living cycle. The essence of this problem is a nuisance to homes, yards, and parks due to the large amounts of destroyed leaves, caterpillar frass, and dead moths (Kretchun et al. 4).
The gypsy moth places its eggs throughout the territory of a landscape it inhabits including stones, walls, trees, lawn furniture, and logs. In the spring, the eggs begin hatching into caterpillars. All the harm caused by the insect functioning occurs during this period (Kretchun et al. 4).
Defoliation of forests is the most significant harm that the gypsy moth causes to the environment since this problem is associated with the normal carbon cycling disturbance leading to the decrease in the air quality. Moreover, defoliation and the connected esthetic problems have their negative impact on the area residents’ quality of life since people, animals, and birds suffer from the forests coverage quality depravation. They lose their normal areas of rest and living activity.
Solution to the Problem
The solution to the problem of the gypsy moth affecting the forested territories throughout the east of the United States including New Jersey is based on the multi-dimensional approach that includes a number of steps and methods and becomes effective only in case of a systematic and conscious implementation (Kretchun et al. 7,9,10). First of all, the specialists who control the condition of local forests resort to the use of botanical insecticides (Kretchun et al. 7). This option also implements in common people’s households. However, it is important to mind possible threats and apply it with sufficient theoretic preparation.
Next, the most important point helping in preventing the gypsy moth spread is keeping good order in the forested territories and background gardens since the insect has a special peculiarity in eggs placing patterns and prefers breeding in the areas with the abundant garbage and household wastes. Therefore, both the foresters and private house holdings keepers have to keep their areas of control in good order to prevent the gypsy moth breeding (Thompson, Grayson, and Johnson 7). Basic recommendations towards keeping good order include removing dead branches, discarded items, stumps, and similar items where the insects can lay their egg masses. Besides, removing any identified substances that appear to look as the gypsy moth egg masses is recommended (Kretchun et al. 7).
A yet another aspect of the solution for this problem is the use of the gypsy moth traps. These simple mechanisms are environmentally friendly and quite cost-effective. They prevent the adult insects capable of breeding from occupying the forest and garden trees (Kretchun et al. 9). There are similar solutions such as Sticky Tree Bands and Tanglefoot Pest Barrier. These inventions can be placed in the forested territories to help control caterpillars movements and thus prevent them from destroying the leaves (Thompson, Grayson, and Johnson 4).
In conclusion, it should be pointed out that the gypsy moth is an invasive insect that causes considerable harm to the environment and local population through destroying leaves in forests and gardens. The problem is quite spread in the east of the United States. This project addressed the article that concerned the experience of handling this problem in Jew Jersey and observed the solution to this problem based on the found example in this state.
Begon, Thompson. Population Ecology: A Unified Study of Plants and Animal, New York, NY: Wiley, 2010.Print.
Harrison, Robert L., Melody A. Keena, and Daniel L. Rowley. “Classification, Genetic Variation And Pathogenicity Of Lymantria Dispar Nucleopolyhedrovirus Isolates From Asia, Europe, And North America.” Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 116 (2014): 27-35. Print.
Kretchun, Alec, Robert Scheller, Melissa Lucash, Kenneth Clark, Jon Hom, and Steve Van Tuyl. “Predicted Effects Of Gypsy Moth Defoliation And Climate Change On Forest Carbon Dynamics In The New Jersey Pine Barrens.” PloS one 9.8 (2014):1-11. Print.
Manderino, Rea, Thomas O. Crist, and Kyle J. Haynes. “Lepidoptera‐Specific Insecticide Used To Suppress Gypsy Moth Outbreaks May Benefit Non‐Target Forest Lepidoptera.” Agricultural and Forest Entomology 16.4 (2014): 359-368. Print.
Thompson, Lily M., Kristine L. Grayson, and Derek M. Johnson. “Forest Edges Enhance Mate‐Finding In The Invasive European Gypsy Moth, Lymantria Dispar.” Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata (2016): 1-9. Print.
Tobin, Patrick, Andrew Liebhold, Anderson Roberts, and Laura Blackburn. “Estimating Spread Rates Of Non-Native Species: The Gypsy Moth As A Case Study.” Pest Risk Modelling and Mapping for Invasive Alien Species 7 (2015): 131. Print.