Recent information on Phytophthora ramorum in Europe
An EPPO Conference on Phytophthora ramorum and other forest pests recently took place at Falmouth in Cornwall (GB). Presentations can be viewed on the EPPO website and papers will be published in the EPPO Bulletin in due course. This Conference provided the opportunity to present the situation of P. ramorum (EPPO Alert List) in several European countries. After the first discovery of P. ramorum within the EU, emergency measures were taken to prevent its introduction and further spread (Commission Decision 2002/757/EC amended in 2004), and regular surveys are being done in EU member states. During the Conference, the discovery of another pathogen in United Kingdom, Phytophthora kernoviae, and the risk it may present have also been discussed. The EPPO Secretariat decided to add the latter to the Alert List (see EPPO RS 2005/164).
Phytophthora ramorum is no longer found in Czech Republic
In Czech Republic, P. ramorum was detected in 2003 on an imported lot of 15 Viburnum bodnantense plants, and eradication measures were taken. Further surveys done in 2004 and 2005 did not detect P. ramorum.
The status of P. ramorum in Czech Republic is officially declared as follows: Absent, one isolated outbreak was eradicated.
Situation of Phytophthora ramorum in Denmark
Since 2002, regular surveys have been conducted in Denmark. P. ramorum has been found in a few samples (Rhododendron and Viburnum only) from nurseries and garden material. Infected plants had been imported or produced from local stock plants.
Situation of Phytophthora ramorum in Finland
In Finland, P. ramorum was detected for the first time in 2004 in 1 Finnish nursery producing horticultural plants.
Situation of Phytophthora ramorum in the Netherlands
P. ramorum has been reported in the Netherlands since 1993. Approximately, 1100 nurseries are inspected every year for this pathogen, and phytosanitary measures are taken according to EU Directive 2002/757. During the last years, the percentage of affected nurseries has constantly decreased (4% in 2002/2003 to 0.5% in 2004/2005). Surveys are also done in the natural environment and have showed that P. ramorum occurred on 2% of the sites with Rhododendron. In the natural environment, it is considered that eradication is not feasible, but containment measures are applied. The spread from heavily infected Rhododendron sites to other hosts is probably limited, but during the last 2 years, 1 and 9 Quercus rubra trees were found infected at 2 sites, respectively. It was stressed that several new Phytophthora species have recently been reported in Europe and USA (e.g. P. kernoviae, P. nemorosa, P. pseudosyringae – see EPPO RS 2005/162) and that there was a need to develop a global approach to manage these diseases in the natural environment.
Situation of Phytophthora ramorum in Scotland (GB)
In Scotland (GB), P. ramorum was first found in 2002. Since then, 21 outbreak sites have been reported in Scotland, mainly on Viburnum tinus but also on Rhododendron and Syringa vulgaris. The pathogen has remained confined to nurseries and garden centres (with the exception of 1 private garden). However, since the first finding, the annual number of outbreaks found has constantly been decreasing (in 2005, only 3 outbreaks were detected).
Presentations made at the EPPO Conference on Phytophthora ramorum and other forest pests, Falmouth, Cornwall, GB, 2005-10-05/07.