With plentiful rain and long summer day lengths, Scotland producing some of the highest yielding and best quality crops in the world. But conditions that promote good crop growth are often good for pests and pathogens too and in Scotland 15-20% of our crops are lost to pests and diseases annually.
Scotland has a remarkable assemblage of species and habitats with Atlantic, montane, boreal, arctic-alpine, and oceanic habitats in close proximity. However, pests and pathogens represent an increasing threat to these natural assets, and a particular challenge is the sheer complexity of the diversity of the natural environment in terms of the number of species that may be impacted.
The sector represents a major component of Scotland’s rural economy – providing significant employment and raw materials for wood processing industries. Sustainable forest management seeks to deliver these economic benefits alongside important ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and flood mitigation, provision of wildlife habitat and opportunities for recreation and a range of leisure activities. Pests and diseases threaten the continued long-term delivery of these benefits.
Scotland is renowned for the quality of its private and public horticultural collections, and its rich cultural history of plant collecting, allotments and gardening. Horticultural plantings are of significant economic value, as well as providing amenity, health and well-being, cultural and conservation resources. However, pest and pathogens represent a major threat to this highly diverse set of plantings.

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New Disease Reports update February 2019

This month in New Disease Reports -First report of Nerine latent virus detected in evergreen perennial Haemanthus albiflos in the UK

Growing the Future Report

'Growing the Future' is a report from the UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF), a special advisory committee of the Royal Society of Biology.

Published in January 2019, the report highlights to policymakers and others the excellence of plant science in the UK, and its importance to the biosciences, the economy, and society both at home and around the world.

Plant Health and biosecurity (pages 8-9) is seen as an important priority, with the Plant Health Centre acknowledged as a key mechanism 'to facilitate the mobilisation of plant science expertise to effect coordination of research and response efforts to major disease outbreaks' (page 9).

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Our Next Event

20 Feb 2019, 7pm - 8pm

Lecture Theatre 4, Dalhousie Building, Old Hawkhill, Dundee University


Prof Ian Toth will present his views on 'Reducing the global burden of crop pests and diseases' at the British Science Association free public lecture series 2018-19