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Pest categorisation of Stegophora ulmea

Michael Jeger, Claude Bragard, David Caffier, Thierry Candresse, Elisavet Chatzivassiliou, Katharina Dehnen‐Schmutz, Gianni Gilioli, Jean‐Claude Gregoire, Josep A. Jaques Miret, Alan MacLeod, Maria Navajas Navarro, Björn Niere, Stephen Parnell, Roel Potting, Trond Rafoss, Vittorio Rossi, Gregor Urek, Ariena Van Bruggen, Wopke Van der Werf, Jonathan West, Stephan Winter, Johanna Boberg, Paolo Gonthier, Marco Pautasso

Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Plant Health (PLH) performed a pest categorisation of Stegophora ulmea, a well-defined and distinguishable fungal species of the family Sydowiellaceae. S. ulmea causes a tree disease known as black spot of elm (Ulmus spp.). The pathogen is reported from North America (native range) and Asia (Far-East Russia and China), but not from the EU. S. ulmea is regulated in Council Directive 2000/29/EC (Annex IIAI) as a harmful organism whose introduction into the EU is banned on plants of Ulmus L. and Zelkova L., intended for planting, other than seeds. The pathogen has been occasionally intercepted on imported bonsai plants (and then destroyed) in the Netherlands and the UK. It could enter the EU and spread within it via plants for planting (including bonsai) and cut branches. Hosts and favourable climatic conditions are common in the EU. The European native elm species Ulmus glabra and Ulmus laevis were found to be more susceptible to the disease than North American elm species, but information is lacking on Ulmus minor. The disease is rarely fatal, but S. ulmea can cause considerable damage, particularly in wet summers. Reduction of inoculum by the removal of leaf debris and avoiding overhead watering in nurseries can reduce the risk of spread of the pathogen. The main knowledge gaps concern (i) the distribution of the pest in Asian countries, (ii) the relative role of the means of entry/spread and (iii) the potential consequences in mature tree plantations and native woodland. The criteria assessed by the Panel for consideration as potential quarantine pest are met. For regulated non-quarantine pests, the criterion on the pest presence in the EU is not met.

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Conclusions. [...]
Identity of the pest ▹ The identity of the pest as a species is clear. [...]
Absence/presence of the pest in the EU territory ▹ The pest is not reported to be present in the EU. [...] There is a doubtful and unconfirmed record of the fungus in Romania. Interceptions in the Netherlands and UK were followed by eradication. [...]
Regulatory status ▹ S. ulmea is regulated by Council Directive 2000/29/EC (Annex IIA) on plants of Ulmus and Zelkova, intended for planting, other than seeds. [...]
Pest potential for entry, establishment and spread in the EU territory ▹ Entry: the pest could enter the EU via the plants for planting pathway, as well as on bonsai plants and cut foliage
Establishment: hosts and favourable climatic conditions are widespread in the risk assessment (RA) area
Spread: the pest would be able to spread following establishment mainly on infected plants for planting and bonsai plants. [...]
There is a lack of data on the trade of Ulmus spp. and Zelkova spp. bonsai plants within the EU [...]
Potential for consequences in the EU territory ▹ The pest introduction could have impacts especially in nurseries and on amenity trees. [...]
The introduction of the pest could have an impact on the intended use of plants for planting. [...]
There is uncertainty about the level of impact of the disease, which has rarely been described in detail, particularly in native woodland and planted forests. The consequences for U. minor are uncertain, given the lack of information on its susceptibility. [...]
Available measures ▹ Reduction of inoculum by the removal and appropriate disposal of leaf debris and avoiding overhead watering in nurseries can reduce the risk of spread of the pathogen. Breeding for host resistance/tolerance may reduce the level of impacts. [...]
Key uncertainties: The relative importance of overwintering in buds compared to primary infection in spring. [...]
Conclusion on pest categorisation ▹ The criteria assessed by the Panel for consideration as potential quarantine pest are met. [...]
The criterion on the pest presence in the EU is not met. [...]
Aspects of assessment to focus on/scenarios to address in future if appropriate ▹ The main knowledge gaps concern (i) the distribution of the pest in Asian countries, (ii) the relative role of the means of entry/spread (plants for planting other than bonsai plants, bonsai plants and cut foliage), and (iii) the potential consequences in mature tree plantations and native woodland. However, the present categorisation has explored most if not all of the available data on these knowledge gaps [...]


EFSA Journal, Vol. 15, No. 12. (December 2017), e05105, https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2017.5105 
Key: INRMM:14506369

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References

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