Assignments and projects at SLU Risk assessment of plant pests

Last changed: 12 October 2020
Aerial picture of a coniferous forest, photo.

Here you can find examples of assignments that SLU Risk assessment of plant pests has completed and information about our projects.

Assignments and projects

Here you can find examples of assignments that SLU Risk assessment of plant pests has completed and information about our projects.

Risk assessments

Risk assessments are frequently conducted as so-called Pest Risk Analyses (PRAs). A PRA can be described as a scientifically based formalized process of evaluating all information influencing the risk that a pest constitutes to a specific area. PRAs are for example used as a basis for deciding whether a plant pest should be regulated and to justify protective measures that affect trade. International standards with guidelines for how a PRA should be performed can be found in so-called ‘International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures’ (e.g. ISPM 2 and ISPM 11) and methods are developed in standards by e.g. European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO). A PRA can, for example, be initiated if a new species of plant pest, which could potentially meet the requirements for being regulated as a quarantine pest, is found during inspections, surveys or identified through external monitoring.

Risk assessments conducted upon requests from the Swedish Board of Agriculture;

EFSA publications where the unit's staff are co-authors;

EPPO PRAs to which the unit's staff has contributed;

Support to the development of survey plans for the priority quarantine pests

SLU Risk assessment of plant pests provides support to the Swedish Board of Agriculture's development of risk-based survey plans for the priority quarantine pests.

Read related reports here;

Reports following outbreaks of quarantine pests

New pathotypes of the fungus Synchytrium endobioticum that causes potato wart disease were discovered in Sweden in 2017. In the same year, the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne chitwoodi was found and the following year the closely related species Meloidogyne fallax was detected. Following these outbreaks, SLU Risk Assessment of Plant Pests was requested to review the available scientific information relevant for the Swedish Board of Agriculture's decisions on management and control measures.

Read the reports here:

Assessments in relation to risk management options

SLU Risk assessment of plant pests conduct assessments in relation to risk management options upon request from the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

Some examples:

Projects

Identification of new pest threats to Nordic coniferous forests

The aim of the project was to assess the pest risks associated with trade of ornamental plants to the health of the Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish coniferous forests in present and future climates. A database of pests that could threaten major coniferous forestry species was prepared. The main pest species of importance and the commodities that can act as pathway of introduction were identified. The climate suitability for the pests was assessed, based on the current climate and based on the future warmer climate. The project focused on pests that potentially may fulfil the criteria to become regulated pests within the European Union according to the new EU regulation 2016/2031. The project was conducted in a collaboration between the risk assessment research unit at Finnish Food Safety Authority (Ruokavirasto), Norweigan Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) and the unit for risk assessment at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

Project group: Mariela Marinova-Todorova (Evira), Juha Tuomola (Evira), Salla Hannunen (Evira), Micael Wendell (VKM), Daniel Flø (VKM), Johanna Boberg (SLU), Niklas Björklund (SLU).

Read the full study here: Marinova‐Todorova, M., Björklund, N., Boberg, J., Flø, D., Tuomola, J., Wendell, M., & Hannunen, S. (2020) Screening potential pests of Nordic coniferous forests associated with trade in ornamental plants. EPPO Bulletin 50 (2), 314-332 https://doi.org/10.1111/epp.12667

Trade and production of plants and plant products in Sweden - A knowledge base for pest risk analysis

The overall aim of the project was to compile information to provide a knowledge base for the assessment of the economic consequences of new plant pests. Relevant information and data on the volumes of trade of plants and plant products that may provide pathways of introduction for invasive plant pests to Sweden and the economic value of plants at risk in Sweden was described. The project was conducted in collaboration with Greensway.

Read the report here.

Risk ranking of regulated plant pests in Sweden (ongoing)

The aim of the project is to rank the regulated plant pests relevant for Sweden based on the risk they present. The model FinnPRIO developed by the Finnish Food Safety Authority (Ruokavirasto) will be applied also in Sweden. The assessments and risk ranking generated will provide support to the risk management of plant pests performed by Swedish Board of Agriculture.

The work to collect and synthesize the information necessary to rank all the relevant plant pests was performed as follows:

  • Insects and mites as pest on trees: Petter Axelsson, SLU Umeå.
  • Insects and mites as pest within agriculture and horticulture: Pernilla Borgström, SLU Ultuna.
  • Fungi, bacteria and viruses: Ramesh Vetukuri, SLU Alnarp.
  • Nematodes: Eva Edin, SLU Ultuna.

Valuation of ecosystem services and biodiversity associated with different tree species in Sweden (ongoing)

The aim of the proposed project is to gather and compile published data and information regarding the ecosystem services and biodiversity associated with the different tree species present in Sweden. The project is conducted in collaboration with Vítězslav Maňák.

Page editor: cajsa.lithell@slu.se