Scientific Opinion on the pest categorisation of Atropellis spp
The European Commission requested the EFSA Panel on Plant Health to perform a pest categorisation of Atropellis spp., the fungal pathogens responsible for causing cankers in several Pinus species. The pathogens are listed in Annex IIAI of Directive 2000/29/EC. The pathogens have been identified as A. apiculata, A. pinicola, A. piniphila and A. tingens. Detection, identification and differentiation of Atropellis species is based on their morphological and cultural characteristics. A. apiculata is present in North Carolina and Virginia (USA), and A. pinicola, A. piniphila and A. tingens are present in Canada and the USA. Atropellis spp. are not known to occur in the EU Member States so far. Several Pinus species have been reported to be hosts of Atropellis spp., with some of them being present in the EU Member States. However, the susceptibility to infection with these pathogens of pine species native to Europe and Eurasia, such as Pinus brutia, P. cembra, P. mugo, P. peuce, P. pinaster and P. sibiricais not yet known. There are no obvious eco-climatic factors limiting the potential establishment and spread of the pathogens in the risk assessment area. The pathogens can spread over short distances by ascospores that are dispersed primarily by wind and secondarily by rain. Spread of Atropellis spp. over long distances may occur by means of movement of infected host plants for planting (especially asymptomatic), cut branches, and wood or isolated bark. Control methods used against Atropellisspp. include cultural practices and sanitary measures. No chemical control measures, resistant host genotypes or biological control measures exist. Potential consequences of the damage caused by Atropellis spp. include malformation of the trees resulting in lower wood quality or tree marketability.
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