The project is comprised of six work packages with inter-related objectives that, in parallel and consecutively, will address the issues associated with preventing and managing incursions by emerald ash borer (EAB) and bronze birch borer (BBB).
Work package 1: Project Management and Coordination (Lead: FR)
- Overall project management and coordination of delivery and results reporting.
- Establish website.
- Communication strategy.
Work package 2: Review evidence gaps relating to improved understanding of risks, impacts and how to mitigate them (Lead: NRC, Netherlands)
- Review and map current research/evidence and expertise.
- Review management approaches and their effectiveness, including biological control options.
- Identify and prioritise research and evidence needs (e.g. by analysis of existing state of the art and via a question-response tree) in the context of available funding and complementary on-going work.
- Explore the potential risks and impacts and investigate how we can better protect against the risk of introduction on the main pathways and manage/adapt to these pests if they become established.
- Consider cumulative impacts of tree pests and diseases (e.g. Chalara and EAB).
Work package 3: Prevention and detection (Lead: BFW, Austria)
- Review current detection techniques and determine best option for future development to improve early and accurate detection.
- Consider need for:
- Laboratory and field-based molecular diagnostics (e.g. LAMP)
- Use of attractant lures (plant volatiles or potential pheromones),
- Use of sniffer dogs.
- Assessment of the likely process and rates of natural spread of EAB and BBB.
- The cost-effectiveness of eradication, containment and management approaches under different scenarios.
- Identify, assess and develop or improve cost-effective management and control approaches and tools (including biological control).
- Consider running bio-economic modelling related to outbreak management and looking into longer-term control methods which might include natural predators/BCAs and resistance breeding, including genetic conservation of native ash and birch species
- Explore policy communication and implementation methods and consider ways to best engage with stakeholders on policy options in advance of post introductions and if the pests succeeds in establishing (including policy makers, woodland owners and managers, academia and the public, importers and the wider nursery industry).