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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Palm, Mary
item Rossman, Amy

Submitted to: Invasive Plants Global Issues Local Challenges
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2000
Publication Date: 8/1/2004
Citation: Palm, M.E., Rossman, A.Y. Invasion pathways of terrestrial plant-inhabiting fungi. 2004. Invasive Plants Global Issues Local Challenges. p.31-43

Interpretive Summary: Plant pathogenic fungi are moved around the world on plant material and accidentally introduced into new regions where they can be very damaging. Different kinds of plant material pose higher or lower levels of risk as pathways for introducing harmful fungi. Based on examples of past introductions primarily into the United States, each specific pathway is evaluated for the risk it poses. Propagative plant material including woody nursery stock, herbaceous plant germplasm and seeds are considered the most risky pathways. Non-propagative material particularly wood and wood products also poses considerable risk. Soil, fungi in pure culture and natural movement are discussed. These results will be used by plant quarantine policy makers to make risk assessments and determine the future direction of plant quarantine regulations

Technical Abstract: Fungi that inhabit terrestrial plants present many challenges when evaluating their invasion pathways and the risk posed by these pathways. One means of obtaining insight into potential invasion pathways is by reviewing past introductions, particularly how these fungi were moved from country to country. Using examples primarily from the United States, the risk of specific invasion pathways is assessed. Propagative plants, including woody nursery stock, herbaceous plant germplasm and seeds, and non-propagative plants, especially wood and wood products, are high-risk invasion pathways for fungi. Because global trade is increasing at a rapid rate, the introduction of new disease-causing fungi poses a threat to their new environment. Modern research tools exist that can be used to increase our knowledge of fungi in order to predict more precisely the risk posed by individual fungi. In doing so we will obtain the knowledge required to safely transport plant material from country to country while still safeguarding the agriculture and environment of individual countries and the world.

Last Modified: 05/26/2017
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