Navigation Links
UCSB study shows forest insects and diseases arrive in US via imported plants
Date:4/9/2012

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) The trade in live plants from around the world has become a major industry in the United States, with new imports now valued at more than $500 billion annually. According to a study conducted by researchers at UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, however, what has proved to be a boon for the economy has also been shown to have devastating effects on the environment.

The multidisciplinary working group found that almost 70 percent of the most damaging non-native forest insects and diseases currently afflicting U.S. forests arrived via imported live plants. The group's findings appear in the current issue of the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

The study, led by Andrew Liebhold, a Forest Service researcher with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, shows that in the last 43 years, the quantity of plant imports to the U.S. has risen by more than 500 percent, peaking at 3.15 billion plants in 2007. Nearly half of the imported live plants entering the U.S. are destined for either California or Florida.

Once introduced, some of these imported insects and disease organisms become established, and a fraction of those become major economic pests. For example, Sudden Oak Death, which is caused by the plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, was introduced into the Bay Area and Big Sur regions of California via nursery plants. The disease has now spread through 14 counties in California, as well as southern Oregon, where it has caused large-scale die-off of tanoaks, live oaks, and black oaks.

The authors studied 82 high-impact invasive insects and diseases in detail. Of these, 95 percent of sap-feeding insects and 89 percent of foliage-feeding insects probably arrived on live plants. In contrast, roughly 85 percent of wood- and phloem-boring insects likely entered the country on wood packaging materials, logs, lumber, or other wood sources.

"The demand for live plants from outside the United States is not likely to diminish," said Liebhold. "As global trade expands, our knowledge of pest pathways must be improved to ensure trade is accomplished with minimal environmental degradation."

According to Liebhold, the working group's current research provides specific information that is critical to the development of policies to reduce the risk of pest species associated with the trade in live plants. Current policies are based on outdated assumptions about the size and number of shipments, and do not address the very large number of plants now grown abroad for direct resale in the U.S., he said.

The authors describe several possible means to increase bio-security, including intensified efforts at plant inspection stations; precautionary measures that restrict plants from entering the U.S. until they have been assessed as posing very little risk; expanding the post-entry quarantine currently applied mainly to some crop plants to include ornamental plants; developing better advance knowledge about pest insects and pathogens; and developing integrated systems approaches that depend on expanded partnerships between researchers and industry.


'/>"/>
Contact: Andrea Estrada
andrea.estrada@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-4620
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Head and body lice appear to be the same species, genetic study finds
2. Life expectancy may affect when you get married, divorced, have kids: Queens University study
3. Sexual reproduction brings long-term benefits, study shows
4. Researchers use game to change how scientists study disease outbreaks
5. Copper chains: Study reveals Earths deep-seated hold on copper
6. Study shows unified process of evolution in bacteria and sexual eukaryotes
7. Scientists study the catalytic reactions used by plants to split oxygen from water
8. A study confirms that long commercials evoke stronger emotions
9. Weakness can be an advantage in surviving deadly parasites, a new study shows
10. Scientists win $2 million to study new pathway in development and maintenance of lymphoma
11. Report presents designs for study of cancer risks near US nuclear facilities
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UCSB study shows forest insects and diseases arrive in US via imported plants
(Date:1/12/2017)... , Jan. 12, 2017  New research undertaken by ... office of the future.  1,000 participants were simply asked which ... months which we may consider standard issue.  Insights on what ... 2017 were also gathered from futurists and industry leaders including ... James Canton .  Some of ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... , Jan. 5, 2017  SomaLogic announced today ... Life Alliance" established by iCarbonX, the ... build a "Global Digital Health Ecosystem that can ... combination of individual,s biological, behavioral and psychological data, ... between the companies, SomaLogic will provide proteomics data ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... -- As part of its longstanding mission to improve genetic literacy ... released its latest children,s book, titled The One ... topics of inheritance and variation of traits that are part ... school classrooms in the US. The book ... Killoran , whose previous book with 23andMe, You ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/21/2017)... Wells, CA (PRWEB) , ... January 21, 2017 ... ... in our ongoing endeavors to bring to market a pioneering medical device for ... O’Rourke, has signed an engagement contract with Emergo, a global regulatory consultancy that ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... 21, 2017   Boston Biomedical , an industry ... target cancer stemness pathways, today presented data from two ... the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal ... In a Phase Ib/II study of ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3 – colorectal ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , January 20, 2017 ... cancer is one of leading causes of death worldwide. ... Although the number of cancer related deaths increased gradually ... Rising in incidence rate of various cancers continues to ... a research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. cancer ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... and HOUSTON , Jan. 19, ... today announced the formation of its Medical/Clinical Advisory ... and industry veterans who enhance the range and ... accelerates development of its novel prenatal diagnostic tests.  ... clinical and strategic guidance for the company,s product ...
Breaking Biology Technology: