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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #224789

Title: Managing the invasive species risk

item Osborne, Lance
item Chamberlin, Joe
item Mckenzie, Cindy

Submitted to: SAF Annual Conference on Insect & Disease Management on Ornamentals
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2008
Publication Date: 2/28/2008
Citation: Osborne, L., Chamberlin, J., McKenzie, C.L. 2008. Managing the invasive species risk. Society of Amerian Florists, Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference on Pest and Disease Management in Ornamentals. XXIV: 80-81.

Interpretive Summary: Invasive species pose a significant risk to the ornamentals industry. Of particular concern is the introduction of insecticide-resistant pest populations and biotypes. Public awareness of the threat posed by resistant strains of common and unregulated pests needs to be elevated. A management plan should be developed and implemented to minimize the risks associated with invasive species and their negative impacts in ornamental crops, other commodities and natural areas such as forests. To be successful, this plan will require four steps: 1) identify the potential hazards that invasive pests represent, 2) determine the level of exposure to those hazards, 3) determine how to best mitigate risk, and 4) identify obstacles to implementation of a risk management plan. It is vital that growers, retail customers, and managers of ornamental plants understand the risk of invasive species and resistant pests. The ornamentals industry could be vulnerable to new regulations and compliance agreements if an invasive pest of ornamentals was to be introduced and then move to an agricultural commodity or natural area where it might cause serious damage.

Technical Abstract: Florida, California and Hawaii are on the front lines when it comes to the war with invasive species. One study documented the Florida invasion at more than one new arthropod species becoming established in the state each month with California estimated to be one every other month. This does not mean a pest was just detected in someone’s baggage or on produce from another country, but that the species is living and breeding in the state. Not all of the insects, mites or spiders become pests but many do and influence our daily lives. We’ve struggled for months in an effort to find a rational scaffold that would help develop a framework to organize our thoughts on this very complex topic. We can think of IPM and the threat of invasive species by using a framework developed for the discipline of Risk Management. Wikipedia defines Risk management as the human activity which integrates recognition of risk, risk assessment, developing strategies to manage it, and mitigation of risk using managerial resources. The objective of Risk Management is to add maximum sustainable value to all the activities of an organization. If we tweak the definition and its objective we get the conceptual structure we were looking for and a new definition for IPM: IPM is an activity which integrates recognition of risk, risk assessment, developing strategies to manage it, and mitigation of risk using all available tools and resources with the objective of obtaining the maximum sustainable value from all the activities of the agricultural enterprise. In this paper we will briefly discuss how this framework fits our response to a few recent invaders.