Type of project


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Implementation period

01.02.2007 - 31.01.2009

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Source of funding

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Coordinator / leading department

Project supervisor

Project description

FORTHREATS is a project funded under Sixth Framework Programme for European Research & Technological Development of the European Union, Priority 8.1 Policy-oriented research – Scientific support to policies – SSP.

Project goals

The ultimate aims of FORTHREATS are to help preventing economic, ecological, social and cultural losses that emerging diseases and invasive species may cause to forests in Europe. This will be done by setting up a network of experts that also have contacts with other organizations, authorities, and research initiatives; by synthesizing existing knowledge both publishing and available through the expert network, and by suggesting good practices and areas in need for further research or other attention.

This project addresses the objectives of the Scientific Support to Policies Priority in a number of ways. The ultimate objective of the work is to provide underpinning scientific support for the formulation and implementation of additional and novel Community policies that target the prevention and restriction of entry of alien pathogens and pests into the European Community, and wider European zone. The work carried out within this project will set the framework for standardization of quarantine legislation and methodologies across the whole Europe and will be both timely and effective in providing scientific inputs to EU policy makers. The wide range of partners involved should enable the improved information generated to be exploited and taken up at national and EU levels.

Characteristics of the project

The objectives of the project are to review the threats that are posed to European forests by organisms previously not present in the respective systems or organisms that have recently become invasive or causing emerging diseases. The emerging diseases can either be of fungal, oomycete, bacterial or viral origin or be an insect or nematode. Organisms can either be imported from elsewhere, be present inside the area but made a host jump so it comes in contact with new hosts or be originating from mutation or hybridization. Further more, due to changing environmental conditions, some pathosystems have developed into more critical stages due to host stress. Invasive species can also be plants that are planted outside their normal geographical range and became invasive or that have otherwise spread into our area. Of particular interest is to map the disease and threat situation in new member states and to identify any trade route or other import courts that require special attention.

The program is organized into a network with 23 partners from 20 European countries and 6 external experts to take part in the meetings and exchange of information from the South Africa, Australia, China, Russia and the USA.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  1. Constitution of a network of expertise from old and new EU member states on possible threats to European forest ecosystems posed by emerging diseases and alien species.
  2. Identifying and listing possible threats to European forest ecosystems posed by emerging diseases and alien species.
  3. Identifying and listing likely origins of threats and modes of movement in Europe.
  4. Qualifying and quantifying major threats in a geographic and climatic context.
  5. Indicate possible ways for preventing introductions and prepare suggestions for standardization of control methods.
  6. Indicate areas were future research is needed.

The project is structured in the five work packages that cover the different organisms and threats from four different angles:

WP1: Diagnosis and monitoring

WP2: Origin

WP3: Spread

WP4: Impact

Scope of IBL participation

The Forest Research Institute (IBL) is involved in Work Package 1 (Detection and monitoring). Main objectives of this work are:

  1. To identify and list possible threats to Polish forest ecosystems.
  2. To document approaches and tools available for detection, diagnosis and monitoring of emerging diseases and invasive species.
  3. To produce suggestions for standarization of diagnostic tools based on existing data and expert knowledge.
  4. To create a database of pathogens.

Project contractors

Department of Forest Pathology
3 Braci Leśnej Street, Sękocin Stary,
05-090 Raszyn, Poland
tel. + 48 22 7150 561
fax. + 48 22 7150 558
Dr Monika Małecka, Eng.


Role* Number Participant name Short name Country
CO 1 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SUAS Sweden, Uppsala
CR 2 Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche IPP-CNR Italy, Florence
CR 3 Università degli Studi della Tuscia UNITUS Italy, Viterbo
CR 4 The University Court of the University of Aberdeen UNIABDN Great Britain, Aberdeen
CR 5 Universität für Bodenkultur Wien BOKU Austria, Vienna
CR 6 Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry MUAF Czech Republic, Brno
CR 7 Finnish Forest Research Institute METLA Finland, Helsinki
CR 8 Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique INRA France, Paris
CR 9 Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Institute for Plant Protection in Forests BBA Germany, Braunschweig
CR 10 National Agricultural Research Foundation NAGREF Greece, Maroussi
CR 11 University of West Hungary UWH Hungary, Sopron
CR 12 Latvian Forestry Research Institute “Silava” LFRI Latvia, Ryga
CR 13 Institute of Botany BIL Lithuania, Wilno
CR 14 Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute NFRI Norway, Aas
CR 15 Forest Research Institute IBL Poland, Sękocin Stary
CR 16 Institutul de Cercetari si Amenajari Silvice ICAS Romania, Voluntari
CR 17 National Forest Centre NFC Slovakia, Zvolen
CR 18 Slovenian Forestry Institute SFI Slovenia, Ljubljana
CR 19 Universidad de Extremadura UNEX Spain, Badajos
CR 20 Federal Insitute of Technology ETH Switzerland, Zurich
CR 21 Forestry Commission Research Agency FORRES Great Britain, Farnham
CR 22 IUCN Regional Office for Europe AISBL IUCN Belgium, Brussels
CR 23 Université Libre de Bruxelles ULB Belgium, Brussels


* K – koordynator; P – partner

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