Application of a wood pathway model to assess the effectiveness of options for reducing risk of entry of oak wilt into Europe

Christelle Robinet*, Bob Douma, Dominique Piou, Wopke van der Werf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The oak wilt fungus, Ceratocystis fagacearum, is native to North America, and is a threat to oaks in Europe. Therefore, the European Union has regulated the importation of oak wood from the US into Europe. We developed a pathway model to calculate the exposure of oak trees in Europe to the fungus under different regulatory scenarios and thus evaluate the effectiveness of the measures. The model describes the import, inspection and treatments of wood, as well as the trade among European countries and processing to sawn wood, final product and residues. The model quantifies the frequency of escape of the fungus from wood with a vector, and the transfer to host trees. Existing regulations reduce exposure by a factor >30 000 compared with a scenario without regulation. Exposure is highest around European ports and during transportation of wood across Europe. Wood treatments and shipment to a restricted set of ports are effective measures, each reducing exposure by more than 90%. Pathway modelling is a promising tool to study entry pathways of alien tree pests and evaluate risk reduction options: it provides a systematic and transparent approach but is limited by availability of biological data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-472
JournalForestry
Volume89
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

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