You are here

Network of 'plant sentinels' on the lookout for pests and diseases that threaten species native to Britain

Ian Johnston -  The Independent

A network of “plant sentinels” is being set up to detect hundreds of new pests and diseases that experts fear could invade Britain in cargoes and as the climate changes.

The arrival of ash dieback in the UK in 2012 prompted fears that the tree could suffer a similar fate as the elm, which was almost wiped out by Dutch elm disease. And experts fear trees such as oak, birch and pine could be next.

A “risk register” of potential and emerging threats, set up in 2013, already has nearly 800 entries. Plants susceptible to the invading beetles, fungi, bacteria and viruses are being grown near places such as ports as part of an “early warning” system.

Read more

Wednesday, February 11, 2015