EPPO Pest Risk Analysis for Agrilus fleischeri (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)
Based on this PRA Agrilus fleischeri was added to the EPPO A2 Lists of pests recommended for regulation as quarantine pests in 2019. Measures for Populus and Salix plants for planting, and wood are recommended.
Overall assessment of risk:
Agrilus fleischeri is considered a separate species. However, no identification key or molecular methods (no sequences are recorded in GenBank) for identifying A. fleischeri are currently available. Distinguishing A. fleischeri from the European species A. ater is difficult.
A. fleischeri has caused damage in one stand in northeast China (Liaoning) on P. nigra var. italica, which is an exotic tree species for China but a native species for the EPPO region as well as on P. tremula var. davidiana in the same region. Limited information is available on this insect.
Entry was considered as moderately likely with a high uncertainty, the most likely pathways were import of host plants for planting, round wood with bark, wood chips, hogwood and processing residues bigger than 2.5 cm in two dimensions, and wood packaging material (if ISPM 15 is not applied). The pest has already been intercepted twice in Canada on non-compliant dunnage.
A. fleischeri is established in Kazakhstan, and in southern Far East and southern Siberia in Russia. Establishment of A. fleischeri is likely to occur in the rest of the EPPO region where host plants grow and may not be limited by climatic conditions. However, there are uncertainties for the western part of Europe, the Mediterranean area, as well as for the warm (at least in summer) arid areas in North Africa, the Near East and Central Asia. Populus and Salix are widespread in the region. It is assumed that A. fleischeri would be able to attack other species within the genera Populus and Salix in addition to those that are currently known as host plants.
The magnitude of spread was rated as moderate (1-10 km per year) with a moderate uncertainty, and there may be longer ‘jumps’ (e.g. with wood packaging material if ISPM 15 is not applied and plants for planting), that would lead to multiple outbreaks and increase the spread rate.
The impact in its native range is assessed as low with a moderate uncertainty. The damage reported in Liaoning concerns only a small part of where P. nigra var. italica is grown in Northern China. Limited or no data was found on its detailed situation and/or impact on other hosts, or in other areas where it occurs (i.e. other Chinese provinces, as well as Japan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Korea Rep, Korea Dem.). Potential impact in the EPPO region is assessed as low with a high uncertainty. Potential impact would mostly depend on the availability of host species that are susceptible and whether the pest can attack healthy trees.
Because of the recent damage recorded from the Liaoning province in northeast China, of the importance of poplar and willow in the EPPO region, and because of the high uncertainty on the potential impact, the EWG considered that phytosanitary measures may be considered to reduce the probability of entry.
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