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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Frederick, Maryland » Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research » Research » Research Project #444523

Research Project: Risk Analysis of Invasive Weeds as Pathways for the Spread of Foreign Plant Pathogens

Location: Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research

Project Number: 8044-22000-047-008-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2023
End Date: Jul 31, 2025

The purpose of this project is to prioritize invasive plant species for surveillance and management based on their risk as potential vectors for the introduction and spread of foreign plant pathogens. The primary objective is to identify invasive weed species and geographic locations within the United States, where there is a risk for foreign plant pathogen persistence or spread to agricultural crop hosts. Existing data sources will be compiled and analyzed to: 1) prepare a list of invasive weed species known to host foreign plant pathogens, and 2) map geographic locations where there is greatest risk of foreign pathogen transmission between invasive weeds and crops.

This project will be completed using existing data sources, network analyses, geographic information systems, and statistical modeling. Records of pathogen-host associations will be used to identify invasive plants that pose a risk as pathways for pathogen movement. Regions where the movement of pathogens between weeds and crops is most likely to occur will be identified using invasive weed occurrence records and crop ground cover estimates.