Risk management options to contrast the introduction of citrus fruit bacterial canker through ornamental Rutaceae in the Mediterranean Basin: An Italian case study
Citrus bacterial canker (CBC) is a known disease caused by Xanthomonas citri subsp citri, which affects many species and varieties of Rutaceae. It causes evident damage on the epigeal parts of plant (leaves and branches) and, in particular, on the fruits, causing their fall and/or deterioration, making them unsuitable for sale. EPPO has signaled its presence in many Asian countries and in the Middle East, in South and Central America and in some regions of the African continent, but not yet in Europe. There are several possible ways of introducing this pathogen into the Mediterranean Basin and, among these, there is the trade of plant material for propagation and planting and the flow of tourism between the risk areas and the Mediterranean countries. This research demonstrates how the risk of invasion through ornamental Rutaceae is evident and identifies - in a participatory way through the involvement of stakeholders - some possible tools of phytosanitary protection. The methodological approach, with multi-criteria analysis, recognizes the interest in forms of protection represented by voluntary certification tools, rather than the introduction of new taxation that can finance the protection system.