Assessment of large-scale plant biosecurity risks to Scotland from large scale tree plantings for environmental benefits

Project Lead: Mariella Marzano
Host Institution: Forest Research, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, The James Hutton Institute, University of St Andrews, Fera Science Ltd, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Project Date: 17 February 2020 to 31 March 2021
Reference Number:
PHC2019/06
The UK and Scotland have ambitious tree planting targets, with a major driver being carbon sequestration. Scotland’s Forest Strategy outlines a target of 15,000 ha per year. In addition to carbon management, other major drivers for tree planting are commercial forestry, habitat restoration and the establishment of new woodlands for biodiversity and amenity value. Scotland’s Forest Strategy outlines a target of 3,000-5,000 ha of new native woodland per year, and restoration of an additional 10,000 ha of native woodland. This involves planting a large volume of trees. There is considerable uncertainty as to where and how this volume of trees will be sourced, and associated uncertainty as to the biosecurity threats posed. The aim of this project is to improve our understanding of current biosecurity awareness and practices within the arenas of woodland creation/ expansion and habitat restoration in Scotland.

Impact: Determine the main barriers to ensuring that future planting for environmental restoration and conservation will minimise plant health risks.

Assessment of large-scale plant biosecurity risks to Scotland from large scale plantings for landscaping and infra-structure projects

October 2021

Planting for large-scale landscaping and infrastructure can typically involve tens of thousands of individual plants, potentially threatening plant health in Scotland due to the biosecurity risks of imports and widespread planting of infested or diseased plants. This project aimed to understand the extent and means to mitigate against such plant biosecurity risks with a focus on mapping the pathways from plant specification through to planting and establishment and highlight different biosecurity awareness for actors, in decision-making and procurement processes.

Assessment of large-scale plant biosecurity risks to Scotland from non-specialist and online horticultural sales

October 2021

This project focused on an initial exploration of tree and plant biosecurity risks to Scotland arising from large-scale movement of plants via non-specialist (those for which plants are not their primary product type, e.g., supermarkets, DIY and lifestyle stores) and online plant retailers. By better understanding the characteristics of these retailer types, the plant health behaviours they undertake, and the challenges they face, potential avenues were offered for greater engagement and collaboration on biosecurity with this important, but understudied and hard to reach sector.

Position:
Social and Economic Research Scientist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Social Scientist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Forest Pathologist and Programme Manager
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Forest Pathologist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Plant Disease Ecologist
Institution: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Position:
Sustainability Scientist
Institution: University of St Andrews
Position:
Plant Pathologist
Institution: The James Hutton Institute
Position:
Environmental Economist
Institution: Fera Science Ltd
Position:
Ecological and Plant Disease Modeller
Institution: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Position:
Ecological and Plant Disease Modeller
Institution: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Position:
Ecologist
Institution: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Position:
Conservation Geneticist
Institution: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh