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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Evaluating and managing the pathways of pest introductions through trade

The number of invasive organisms in European forests is increasing, with the trade in live plants recognized as a major pathway in the movement of pests and diseases. The number of shipments is so high that phytosanitary (plant health) inspections can only intercept a fraction of the harmful species. This project focuses on reducing threats from exotic pests through promoting enhanced pathway management, which includes developing and proposing new risk mitigation measures for woody plants.

Project Overview

So, what's the problem

The number of alien invasive organisms in European forests is steadily increasing. The trade in live plants is recognized as a major pathway in the movement of forest pests and diseases. The trade volume is large and increasing, and many millions of plants are imported into Europe every year. Phytosanitary (plant health) inspections at the point of entry into Europe are an essential way of minimizing the number of introductions of harmful organisms, but with the number of shipments, and the number of plants within each shipment, being so large, only a fraction of the harmful organisms can be intercepted.

What is this project doing?

This project focuses on reducing threats from exotic pests through promoting enhanced pathway management. Our aims are to analyze the plants for the planting trade and their role in forest invasions, both in Europe and elsewhere, and to develop and propose new risk mitigation measures for woody plants.

Identifying the pathways for the international transfer of pests, including species identity, known hosts, origins and trade patterns, will hopefully enable the phytosanitary services to respond to the threat of current, known harmful species. It may also allow the development of generic procedures that could be applied to pathway management in a "manage once, remove many" approach which could also mitigate the threat of new, hitherto unknown pests.

 

In total there are 26 countries participating. Research activities in Switzerland, carried out by CABI are funded by a grant from the Swiss Department for Education and Science (SER).

The team

Project Manager

Staff image of Marc Kenis

Marc Kenis  Head Risk Analysis and Invasion Ecology

Rue des Grillons 1 CH-2800 Delémont
Switzerland
T +41 (0)32 4214884
E m.kenis@cabi.org

Project team

Staff image of René Eschen

René Eschen

Research Scientist, Ecosystems Management, and Risk Analysis and Invasion Ecology

Staff image of Hongmei Li

Hongmei Li

Project Scientist

Duration

  • Start:
  • End:

Donors

  • Swiss Department for Education and Science (SER)

Partners

  • Forest Research