Nematodes are a real threat for European forests
A Nematode Day dedicated to a vastly spreading problem of nematodes and damage caused by them was organized by EFI's Atlantic European Regional Office - EFIATLANTIC and CIF Lourizan with support from Xunta de Galicia, USSE and DEVESA during 12-13 January 2011 in Pontevedra Spain. This event was a great opportunity to showcase and discuss all regional, national and European legal tools available concerning the monitoring and treatment of affected areas. 150 participants were able to get the latest information about pine wood nematode problem that has affected Portuguese forests since 1999 and the affected area is changing at a daily basis.
Nematodes can affect all the European pines, and also other conifers as explained by researcher Edmundo Sousa. Portuguese partners confirmed that at the moment only Maritime pines are affected. It was also noted that even though 2006 expansion of the affected area into the Portugal centre was quite fast, the North region is only sporidically afftected. So the potential area for spreading is mainly south Europe, but Nematodes can reach northern Europe due to climate change in the next decades.
In Spain the nearest infested point is 20 km away from the Galician border and there is no link between the Galician contamintated trees and the Portuguese affected stands. There is a good chance to eliminate this point of contamination.
Currently there is the lack of continuous information flow between Spain and Portugal and it was suggested to implement a permanent European crisis group involving the key actors in charge of monitoring and controlling of this problem in order to have better coordination in monitoring and action planning.
More information on Nematode Day is available here.