Invasive insects and pathogens have wreaked havoc on ash, elm, chestnut trees and others, wiping some of them almost completely from American forests. In addition to the ecological impact, a Purdue University study shows that the carbon storage lost to these pests each year is the same as the amount of carbon emitted by 5 million vehicles.
The study authors said that while the current annual loss from invasives is only 0.04 percent of the total live biomass in the contiguous U.S., the problem could grow. Of the 15 pests, three have only invaded about half of their potential range and seven have invaded less than 35 percent.
— Purdue University Agriculture News