Challenges and solutions in early detection, rapid response and communication about potential invasive alien species in forests

Maarten de Groot, Richard O'Hanlon, Erin Bullas-Appleton, György Csóka, Ágnes Csiszár, Massimo Faccoli, Eugenio Gervasini, Natalia Kirichenko, Márton Korda, Aleksander Marinšek, Nikki Robinson, Craig Shuttleworth, Jon Sweeney, Elena Tricarico, Laura Verbrugge, David Williams, Simon Zidar, Jana Kus Veenvliet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Invasive alien species (IAS) are an important threat to forests. One of the best ways to manage potential IAS is through early detection and rapid response (EDRR) strategies. However, when dealing with IAS in forests, EU regulations are divided between phytosanitary regulations and IAS regulations. A version of EDRR for the former has been in place in the EU for more than 15 years while the latter is still in the process of being implemented. During 2019, a workshop was held to gather international experts on different plant health pests and IAS. The purpose of this workshop was to identify the opportunities and difficulties in applying the EDRR system in the EU phytosanitary and IAS legislation to four species for providing suggestions to improve the EDRR system. The model species are well known and come from different trophic levels. These species were the American pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis); and the plant health pests Geosmithia morbida and Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis). We identified the similarities in the challenges of early detection, rapid response and communication of these species. For all species, difficulties in species identification, knowledge gaps on the pathways of spread, a lack of resources and uncertainty over which national government service was the competent authority were identified as the main challenges. Other challenges like public perception for the grey squirrel or methodological problems were species-specific. Regarding the rapid response: public perception, determination of the eradication area, sufficient scientific capacity and the lack of resources were common challenges for all species. Therefore, collaboration between institutes dealing with plant health pests and IAS can lead to better control of both groups of unwanted organisms in forests.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement of Biological Invasions
Volume11
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)637-660
Number of pages24
ISSN1989-8649
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • 4112 Forestry
  • early warning and rapid response system
  • plant health legislation
  • EU IAS legislation
  • alien species
  • Geosmithia morbida
  • Emerald ash borer
  • American pokeweed
  • Grey squirrel
  • EMERALD ASH BORER
  • THOUSAND CANKERS DISEASE
  • COLEOPTERA BUPRESTIDAE
  • AGRILUS-PLANIPENNIS
  • SYSTEMIC INSECTICIDE
  • GEOSMITHIA-MORBIDA
  • CITIZEN SCIENCE
  • GREY SQUIRRELS
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • MANAGEMENT

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