19 NOV 2020

A research article recently published in the Management of Biological Invasions journal ascertains the presence of the pathogen Dothistroma septosporum at several sites in Italy. The paper called "Dothistroma Needle Blight in protected pine forests in Italy" presents evidence that in Italy D. septosporum currently has  a much larger distribution than previously reported, comprising several forest sites both in the South and in the North-East of the country. Authors of the...

22 OCT 2020

A review article recently published in the Neobiota journal provides an overview of the connection between the disciplines of forest pathology and invasion science. The paper, co-authored by HOMED researchers, is called "Harmonising the fields of invasion science and forest pathology". It stresses that there is an increasing interdependence between the two disciplines in terms of determining pests and pathogens which pose a threat to forest health.  The images at the top...

6 OCT 2020

HOMED’s first collection of policy briefs is now launched and the first policy brief is available online. The main objective of HOMED policy briefs is to provide quick and easy access to HOMED scientific insights, results, guidance and methods, designed and translated to answer the needs of policy makers and decision-makers. The policy briefs collection will consist of separate concise outputs that aim to allow users to quickly find the topics that are of interest to them. HOMED policy...

29 SEP 2020

An article recently published in the Mycokeys journal presents results proving the existence of a new species of fungus that has previously been confused with pine pathogen Caliciopsis pinea. The paper called "Caliciopsis moriondi, a new species for a fungus long confused with the pine pathogen C. pinea" aims to clarify the taxonomy of Caliciopsis specimens collected from infected Pinus spp. in Europe and North America. Using an integrative approach combining morphology and...

25 SEP 2020

As part of the promotional and dissemination toolset of HOMED, selected to make the results of the project available across stakeholders and the general public, a collection of practice abstracts was prepared and published on the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) platform. These concise and clear pieces of knowledge aim to present HOMED results to one of the key project target groups – the practitioners. One of HOMED’s...

24 SEP 2020

An article recently published for review in advance in the Annual Review of Entomology analyses the effects of increasing tree species richness on tree resistance to pest damage. The paper called "Tree Diversity and Forest Resistance to Insect Pests: Patterns, Mechanisms and Prospects" presents a quantitative assessment of tree diversity effects on insect herbivory and a discussion of plausible mechanisms underlying the observed patterns. Figure: Conceptual diagram showing how...

3 SEP 2020

An article recently published in the Journal of Applied Ecology analyses the effectiveness of clear-cutting as a method for combating the spread of pine wood nematode (PWN) in non-fragmented forests. The paper called "Effectiveness of clear‐cuttings in non‐fragmented pine forests in relation to EU regulations for the eradication of the pine wood nematode" presents a model aiming to analyse whether the EU regulation for combatting PWN spread is effective. The pine wood...

19 AUG 2020

A new study on the threats of Xylella fastidiosa to European forests is now available on Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research. The inquiry has been conducted by a group of international scientists, amongst whom are HOMED project partners. The study claims that X. fastidiosa has caused the emergence of Olive Decline Syndrome, which poses a risk to many important crops in Europe, such as fruit trees and grapevine. Therein, the researchers have focused on establishing the...

20 JUL 2020

Pathologists and entomologists unite knowledge and expertise over the common goal to battle unprecedented biotic threats posed by biological invasions and improve the long-term health of forests. Researchers from the EU project HOMED aim to prevent or reduce the profound impacts on forests of both alien and emerging native pests and pathogens. © James Johnson, Georgia Forestry Commission, Bugwood.org The United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2020 as the...

16 JUL 2020

In the light of the current pandemic situation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) marked that 2020 is also the International year of plant health. In regard to this, the organization held a webinar on the topic of Forest Invasive Species: the next global pandemic? The course, which was held during July 2020, was exclusively online and HOMED experts – Prof. Mike Wingfield, had the opportunity to guest lecture the event. In recognition of the...

18 JUN 2020

HOMED researchers report on the use of a volatile organic compounds (VOC) blend for the detection of a quarantine plant pathogen. It shows that VOC fingerprinting could represent an innovative method to help phytosanitary services in rapid surveying of plant consignments at ports of entry by sampling the air within a container where plants have been stored.  Ceratocystis platani causes canker stain of plane trees, and it represents a serious disease of Platanus spp....

11 JUN 2020

HOMED-funded research invented a new tool for the early detection of insect alien species. The tool successfully passed the first set of tests regarding alien species potentially traveling with commodities in containers.Insects are one of the most common groups of invasive species, and the number of new introductions has been increasing in the last decades. Insect invasions are affected mainly by the increase in international trade, as most of them travel across the world inside shipping...

15 MAY 2020

A recently published paper reveals new approaches to minimise the impacts of invasive species in urban forests. An extensive urban forestry plan has been tested and implemented in Xiongan New Area (XNA), a new city in Hebei province, China. The city has been designated to serve Beijing’s noncapital functions and promote the integration of the broader Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei city-region. The paper is called New Approaches in Urban Forestry to Minimize Invasive Species Impacts:...

7 MAY 2020

HOMED researchers develop a rapid, simple, specific and sensitive loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)-based method for detection of the quarantine fungal pathogen Fusarium circinatum (=Gibberella circinata).Fusarium circinatum is the causal agent of pitch canker, a lethal disease of pine and other conifers. Since F. circinatum is a quarantine organism, its timely detection could efficiently prevent its introduction into new areas or facilitate spread management in already infected...

4 MAY 2020

article by the Science for Environment PolicyAn early-warning system developed by researchers could help forest managers in Europe predict which trees are at greatest risk of barkbeetle infestation. The study looked at the probability of bark-beetle outbreaks on two important conifer-tree species in Slovenia: the Norway spruce (Picea abies) and silver fir (Abies alba). It found that high temperatures, and extreme weather linked to climate change - including droughts and ice storms - weakened...

24 APR 2020

In times of pandemic, HOMED partner organisation University of Padua releases an educational video on the Monitoring of insect species harmful to trees and forests. The video created by HOMED consortium member Prof Andrea Battisti together with his colleague Dr Fernanda Colombari provides an additional learning material for schools and universities in the field of forest and tree health. In this way HOMED supports the global trend for creation of educational resources during the coronavirus...

3 APR 2020

If you are a PhD student, PostDoc or a Master's student interested in understanding the biology and the epidemiology of emerging pests and diseases in temperature forests, apply for a five-day Summer school on emerging pests and diseases in temperate forests. The Summer school organised by AgroParisTech, INRAE, and the Université de Lorraine welcomes applications from all countries in the world to Nancy, East of France from 6 to 10 July 2020. Participants will learn how to monitor...

1 APR 2020

A Science Magazine article talks about ways to identify potential insect invaders, with the goal to avoid the harmful ecological and economic consequences that they are causing. The article mentions HOMED as an EU project adopting the approach of planting ‘sentinel trees’ from their own local regions in distant continents, and then observing attacking insects and pathogens. In this way, an early warning of which exotic pests are likely to cause damage can be acquired. ...

5 MAR 2020

Recently, a new paper on the Movement behaviour of two social urticating caterpillars in opposite hemispheres has been published in the Movement ecology journal. This is a step towards developing surveillance and delimitation tools for emerging and invasive pests and pathogens on trees and forest - one of the key goals of the HOMED project. To develop such tools, researchers first need to understand the behaviour of these organisms. Behaviour of pre-pupation processions...

13 FEB 2020

2020 HOMED research investigates whether invasive patterns of non-native insects related to woody plants differ between Europe and China. Forests are increasingly threatened worldwide by the establishment of non-native species arriving from other continents with globalization of trade and international travels. We compiled comprehensive lists of non-native insects associated to woody plants in Europe and China to compare their invasive patterns between these two regions. By 2019, a total...