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CABI scientist co-edits new field guide on woody sentinel plant damage

CABI scientist co-edits new field guide on woody sentinel plant damage

A new guide designed to help plant health professionals identify the cause of damage on woody sentinel plants, co-edited by CABI scientist René Eschen, is now available to download as an open access publication.

Written collaboratively by a team of 44 scientists from 24 countries, the guide is an output of an EU-funded COST project, COST Action FP1401 - A global network of nurseries as early warning system against alien tree pests (Global Warning)

Invasive alien invertebrate pests and microbial diseases of woody plants can cause serious economic losses and threaten biodiversity, but most of these pests were unknown prior to their introduction. Sentinel plants are a new tool to help identify pests in the country of origin which may inform pest risk analysis and allow the development of measures to mitigate the risk of introduction. 

In sentinel plantings where agents may not be known and damage, rather than causal agents, may be visible, people monitoring trees need to identify the type of agent that may have caused the damage. 

Specifically the guide:

  • helps users to identify the type of agent that may have caused observed damage, including pathogens, invertebrates and abiotic factors
  • explains how to take and preserve samples and how to obtain a more definitive identification of pests
  • includes a general damage chapter in addition to specific chapters on damage to leaves, buds and shoots, roots, trunk, and flowers, fruits and seeds
  • contains 800 full colour, high quality photographs to aid analysis

The book is aimed at plant health professionals working in the field, and may also be used as training material for plant health professionals and students of forest entomology and pathology. 

The ‘Field guide for the identification of damage on woody sentinel plants’ is available as an open access download here.

Sentinel nurseries as early warning system against alien tree pests

Many of the alien pests and diseases of woody plants were unknown before they were established in new countries. No policy or measures to avoid their introduction and spread were therefore implemented. Recently, monitoring sentinel plants in exporting countries has been proposed as a valuable tool to identify harmful organisms prior to their... >>