This project will (i) review and collate the contemporary data and evidence on Phytophthora discovery, species description and traits; (ii) use the collated data to horizon-scan and predict disease threats in Scotland and (iii) model and map the greatest threats to plants in specific key habitats. The findings will be compiled into a report on the updated risks with recommendations for enhancing preparedness through risk-based prioritisation of hosts and habitats for targeted surveillance to promote earlier detection of Phytophthora species. Although the project will consider plants in agriculture, forestry, horticulture and natural ecosystems across Scotland, the principal focus will be on the risks to relatively under-studied plant hosts in the natural environment.
This project was selected for funding from the Project Call: “Enhancing preparedness against pests and diseases: plugging evidence gaps for Scotland”.
Image credit: Glensaugh ©The James Hutton Institute
Impact: Determine the main barriers to ensuring that future planting for environmental restoration and conservation will minimise plant health risks.
Impact: Provide Scottish Government policy with an assessment of the major biosecurity pitfalls and opportunities arising from large-scale landscaping plantings.
The potential of ecological and epidemiological models to inform assessment and mitigation of biosecurity risks arising from large scale planting
Large scale planting projects linked to infra-structure such as transport networks and major housing projects or to planting for environmental benefits (e.g., urban greening, woodland restoration) pose high biosecurity risks due to the high number and types of plants involved. This report focusses on whether and how ecological and epidemiological model frameworks can inform assessment and mitigation of biosecurity risks from large scale planting using a combination of literature review and stakeholder engagement. The project aimed to identify priority steps to develop more useful models and tools for assessing biosecurity risks from planting in the future.