INVASIVE SPECIES

Tree pests and pathogens in North America

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Science  05 Aug 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6299, pp. 554-555
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6299.554-g

Oak tree in Big Sur, California affected by sudden oak death fungus

PHOTO: © RICHARD BROADWELL/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

Global trade continually introduces alien species of insects and pathogens throughout the world, often with serious ecological and economic consequences. Lovett et al. analyzed information about the past 150 years of invading forest tree pests in the United States, documenting their means of arrival and their impacts on U.S. trees and forest ecosystems. They estimate that invasive insects continue to arrive in the United States at a rate of 2.5 species annually; of these, about 10% are the particularly damaging wood-boring insects. Pests typically arrive on live plants and in wooden packaging material. Policies for combating such invasions should include cleaning shipments before export and inspections, surveillance, quarantine, and eradication efforts upon entry.

Ecol. Appl. 26, 1437 (2016).

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