The project is co-ordinated by the Centre de Recherche agronomique de Wallonie (CRA-W) and includes the Proefcentrum voor Sierteelt and ULB. It aims to establish the phytosanitary status of 8 pathogenic fungi (+ 1 insect vector) regulated or on the EPPO Alert List that affect various tree species present in Belgium. These species are:
Monitoring (survey unit, spore and insect trapping) and diagnostic methodologies (including real-time PCR) will be developed from information already available in the literature. The project also aims to collect data on the biology of these pathogens/pest (via the literature or contacts with researchers faced with the disease in neighboring countries or countries of origin) in order to assess the risk of introduction, establishment and dispersal taking account of the environmental conditions specific to Belgium (climate, presence of host species and their importance, vectors, method of production of plants, …). Finally, the relevant sectors (notably nurseries, forest managers, managers of public parks) will be informed on these new issues and their potential risks. This communication will be done through existing networks (nurseries affiliated with PCS, observers of the OWSF) via meetings, warning systems, and dissemination of disease datasheets.