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Ecology and Management of Invasive Species and Forest Ecosystems

Preventing Introduction of Invasive Species

Prevention is the first step in invasive species management. One important aspect of prevention involves predicting which non-native pests pose a particularly high risk to North American forestry. Identifying high-risk non-native pests prior to their establishment allows researchers time to fill important data gaps by conducting studies in the pest’s country of origin.  In addition, high-risk pests can be targeted by local forest-health managers in early detection surveys. The Exotic Forest Pest Information System for North America, or EXFOR, is a database with the goal of identifying high-risk non-native forest pests. Unit members have submitted several pest risk assessments to this database over the years.


Another aspect of prevention is identifying high-risk pathways by which non-native pests enter the United States, as well as developing management strategies to reduce the risk posed by these pathways.


Two important pathways by which dozens of non-native forest pests have entered the United States include wood packaging materials like pallets and crating, and “plants for planting,” including bonsai. Recent research has focused on pathway analysis with special emphasis on wood packaging material and firewood as a pathway.

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