A risk categorisation and analysis of the geographic and temporal dynamics of the European import of plants for planting

René Eschen*, Bob Douma, Jean Claude Grégoire, François Mayer, Ludovic Rigaux, Roel P.J. Potting

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The international trade in plants for planting (P4Ps) is a major pathway for the introduction of plant pests. The global trade in P4Ps is both voluminous and highly diverse, but there is little detailed knowledge about its diversity and dynamics. This makes it difficult to assess the risks associated with this trade and to prioritise high-risk commodities (genus-origin combinations) for detailed inspection or regulation. Using the ISEFOR database, this paper describes the diversity and dynamics of P4P imports into the EU, based on genus-level data for lots imported into fourteen Member States that provided this data for different periods between 2005 and 2014, totalling over 30Bn plants and over 7500 commodities. There was great variety, as well as complementarity, in terms of the imported genera, origins and commodities among the countries. Two-thirds of the imported commodities changed every year. Based on the 10-year data from the Netherlands, the greatest importer of live plants in the dataset, we developed a risk categorisation approach for prioritising the highest risk commodities, based on risk associated information concerning the imported genus and the history of trade with respect to the exporting countries, genera and type of plant material traded. Application of this risk categorisation led to the identification of a modest number of commodities that represent elevated risk, to which more inspection resources can be allocated while lower-risk commodities could be subject to less-intensive phytosanitary inspections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3243-3257
JournalBiological Invasions
Issue number11
Early online date7 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Biosecurity
  • Harmful organisms
  • International trade
  • Pathway risk analysis
  • Plants for planting
  • Prioritisation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A risk categorisation and analysis of the geographic and temporal dynamics of the European import of plants for planting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this