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Pest categorisation of Guignardia laricina

Michael Jeger, Claude Bragard, David Caffier, Thierry Candresse, Elisavet Chatzivassiliou, Katharina Dehnen‐Schmutz, Gianni Gilioli, Jean‐Claude Grégoire, 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 performed a pest categorisation of Guignardia laricina, a well‐defined and distinguishable fungal species of the family Phyllostictaceae. The pathogen is regulated in Council Directive 2000/29/EC (Annex IAI) as a harmful organism whose introduction into the EU is banned. G. laricina is native to East Asia and causes a shoot blight disease of Larix spp. Major hosts of G. laricina are European larch (Larix decidua) and two North American larch species (Larix laricina (tamarack) and Larix occidentalis (Western larch)). Larix kaempferi (Japanese larch) is reported as susceptible. The only other host in nature is Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), which is reported as an incidental host, but various other conifers have been reported as susceptible following artificial inoculation, including Picea abies. The fungus is not known to occur in the EU but could enter via plants for planting (including artificially dwarfed plants) and cut branches of Larix spp. It could establish in the EU, as hosts are present and climatic conditions are favourable. The pathogen would be able to spread following establishment by natural dissemination of ascospores and pycnospores and by human movement of infected plants for planting. Should the pathogen be introduced in the EU, impacts can be expected in larch forests, plantations and nurseries, leading to reduced tree growth and ecosystem service provision. The key uncertainties concern the current distribution and level of impacts in the native range of the pathogen. The criteria assessed by the Panel for consideration as a potential quarantine pest are met. As the pest is not present in the EU, not all criteria for consideration as a regulated non‐quarantine pest are 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. [...]
Regulatory status ▹ G. laricina is regulated by Council Directive 2000/29/EC (Annex IAI) as a harmful organism whose introduction into, and spread within, all Member States shall be banned.
[...]
Pest potential for entry, establishment and spread in the EU territory ▹ Entry: the pest could enter the EU via plants for planting, and cut branches.
Establishment: hosts and favourable climatic conditions are widespread in the risk assessment area.
Spread: the pest would be able to spread following establishment by movement of infected plants for planting and cut branches, and natural spread.
[...]
Plants for planting are not the main pathway of spread, given that spread may occur both via plants for planting and natural spread.
[...]
There is little information on the current distribution of G. laricina in East Asia. [...]
Potential for consequences in the EU territory ▹ The pest introduction would have economic and environmental impacts in woodlands and larch plantations.
[...]
The pest introduction could have an impact on the intended use of plants for planting. [...]
Available measures ▹ Import prohibition of Larix plants for planting is an available measure to reduce the risk of introduction.
[...]
Production of plants for planting in pest-free areas can prevent pest presence on plants for planting.
[...]
Production of plants for planting in pest free areas can prevent pest presence on plants for planting.
[...]
It is uncertain whether chemical control in nurseries might just mask symptoms, hence allowing the movement of the pathogen via the trade in plants for planting. [...]
Conclusion on pest categorisation ▹ The criteria assessed by the Panel for consideration as a 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 gap concerns the current distribution and level of impacts in the native range of the pathogen.
However, the present categorisation has explored most if not all of the data available to the Panel on this uncertainty. [...]


EFSA Journal, Vol. 16, No. 6. (June 2018), e05303, https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5303 
Key: INRMM:14636159

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