So, what's the problem
The international trade in live plants is a major pathway for invasive tree pests and pathogens to be introduced, resulting in environmental and economic damage.
Previously, many of the recently introduced pests and diseases were not known to be harmful, or were unknown to science, and were therefore not regulated before they went on to cause problems, indicating that the current system to identify harmful pests and pathogens does not provide sufficient protection from invasions.
A novel way of identifying potentially harmful organisms so that they can be regulated and stopped from being exported is to monitor trees planted in regions that export plants. For this to work, the most relevant woody species to target need to be identified, and the most common pests detected and identified. Protocols need to be developed, as do ways to regulate the creation of the sentinel nurseries and the use of collected data.
The outcomes of this Action will enable a more robust early warning system for alien tree pests and diseases to be established for countries involved, and be mutually beneficial.
What is this project doing?
This COST Action will establish a global network of scientists and regulators in countries where sentinel nurseries could be established from propagation material, or where botanical gardens or arboreta with exotic trees already exist.
We will also develop common protocols for monitoring and identifying pests, as well as explore ways to regulate how these nurseries are established and the data collected by them should be used.
This Action will bring together detailed information about the international trade in trees and the environmental value of native trees in Europe.
The Action will produce printed and electronic and workshop outputs, as well as at least five short-term scientific missions per year.
Head Risk Analysis and Invasion Ecology