Pest categorisation of Cronartium spp. (non‐EU)
Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Cronartium spp. (non‐EU), a well‐defined and distinguishable group of fungal pathogens of the family Cronartiaceae. There are at least 40 species described within the Cronartium genus, of which two are considered native to the EU (C. gentianeum and C. pini) and one has been introduced in the 19th century (C. ribicola) and is now widespread in the EU – these three species are thus not part of this pest categorisation. In addition, the non‐EU C. harknessii, C. kurilense and C. sahoanum were already dealt with in a previous pest categorisation. All the non‐EU Cronartium species are not known to be present in the EU and are regulated in Council Directive 2000/29/EC (Annex IAI) as harmful organisms whose introduction into the EU is banned. Cronartium spp. are biotrophic obligate plant pathogens. Many of the North American Cronartium species alternate between the aecial host Pinus spp. and telial hosts of various dicotyledonous plants. C. conigenum, C. orientale, C. quercuum and C. strobilinumhave different Quercus spp. as their telial hosts. C. orientale and C. quercuum also infect Castanea spp. and Castanopsis spp. The pathogens could enter the EU via host plants for planting and cut flowers and branches. Non‐EU Cronartium spp. could establish in the EU, as climatic conditions are favourable to many of them and Pinus and Quercus spp. are common. The pathogens would be able to spread following establishment by movement of host plants, as well as natural spread. Should non‐EU Cronartium spp. be introduced in the EU, impacts can be expected on pine, oak and chestnut woodlands, plantations, ornamental trees and nurseries. The Cronartium species present in North America cause important tree diseases. Symptoms on Pinus spp. differ between Cronartium spp., but include galls, cankers, dieback of branches and stems, deformity, tree and cone death. The main knowledge gap concerns the limited available information on (sub)tropical Cronartium spp. The criteria assessed by the Panel for consideration of Cronartium spp. (non‐EU) as potential quarantine pests are met, while, for regulated non‐quarantine pests, the criterion on the pest presence in the EU is not met.
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