Benefits of the COST Action
This Action will prepare the framework for seed-derived sentinel nurseries as an early warning system for tree pests and diseases through the development of worldwide, standardised monitoring and identification protocols for pests and pathogens, detailed information on intercontinental trade in live trees (and other woody plants) and the ecological and socio-economic importance of native tree species in Europe. At present, the interactions between invasion biologists and the regulatory community are limited, resulting in poor understanding of the phytosanitary and regulatory reality by researchers. This Action will result in more, direct interaction and, consequently, a better understanding of the requirements of, and more effective provision of information to the regulatory community. This is important, as in Europe much of the research on biological invasions is primarily focused on describing the distribution and impact of (established) alien tree pests and diseases and less on early warning against new alien species or measures to minimise the risks posed by such species.
PRA and lists of regulated pests often depend on information about the impact of harmful organisms on co-evolved hosts in the region of origin, which does not reflect the potential impact in the introduced range. The available information is often incomplete and scattered. The development of tools to overcome this shortcoming in the information availability, on a global scale and through interactions between entomologists, pathologists, molecular biologists and regulators, makes this Action highly innovative. The direct interactions with PRA experts, but also scientific publications, training schools, the Action website and the final conference will ensure effective transfer and dissemination of knowledge elaborated during the Action. This Action will also lead to an international discussion on the regulation of imports of exotic seed material for phytosanitary purposes and the benefits of sentinel nurseries with species from different origins will be reciprocal.