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The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) state the pinewood nematode (PWN) Bursaphelenchus xylophilus is absent in Belgium based on phytosanitary controls at import sites as well as national surveys in (natural) pine stands, public green areas, and logging and wood processing facilities. These actions have been organised by the Belgian NPPO, viz. the Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC), since 2000. An average of 200 samples were gathered yearly and analysed at the Diagnostic Centre for Plants (DCP) of the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO). No PWN, living or dead, was discovered, and only two living Monochamus individuals (adult and larva) were intercepted in imported material. However, live saprophytic nematodes, including genera closely related to PWN (Aphelenchoides spp. and Laimaphelenchus spp.), as well as live beetles belonging to the Bostrichidae and Cerambycidae were observed on several occasions. Their presence in imported wood and bark can indicate insufficient treatment of imported wood material using heat treatment (EPPO Standard PM 10/6) or fumigation (EPPO Standard PM 10/7). While Belgium currently appears secure, the consequences of the introduction of PWN is unclear because little is known about the presence of the PWN vectors, Monochamus spp. Single specimens of either M. galloprovincialis or M. sartor were observed in Belgium on only seven occasions. Verifying the origin of these beetles (endemic or imported) is challenging. In order to develop an eradication strategy for possible PWN contaminations in the future, it is necessary to know the species composition and spatial distribution of Monochamus populations in Belgium. During a three-year project ILVO and the Biological Control and Spatial Ecology Lab (LUBIES), in cooperation with the Belgian NPPO, will gather this information by establishing a detection and monitoring network for endemic Monochamus populations using attractant traps and public participation. Introduction of exotic Monochamus spp. into Belgium will be assessed by placing attractant traps in relevant import sites. If Monochamus individuals are found, they will be inspected for PWN or other nematodes. By integrating the gathered information in existing climatic and dispersal models for PWN and Monochamus spp., supplemented with our experimental data (flight capacity in flight mills, life table data, etc.) we will assess the general risk of PWN for Belgium. This will ultimately allow us to develop an eradication strategy for PWN.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Pine Wilt Disease Conference 2013
Publication date15-Oct-2013
Publication statusPublished - 15-Oct-2013
EventIUFRO Pine Wilt Disease Symposium - Braunschweig, Germany
Duration: 15-Oct-201318-Oct-2013

ID: 1693866