B. xylophilus (Source Jon Eisenback)
Pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus
, is a major threat to European forests, particularly following its establishment in Portugal and that even with stringent measures the pest has continued to spread and kill pine trees both their and in neighbouring Spain, where it is under eradication.
The classification of PWN as a 'highly significant threat' follows its track record of killing pine trees in Japan, where tree deaths were noted in the 19th century, China, 1982; Korea,1988; Taiwan, 1985 and most recently Portugal,1999; Madeira, 2009; with four separate incursions into Spain between 2008-2013.
In all countries there has been extensive tree mortality.
In Japan annual losses of pine trees peaked at 2.5 million m3
in the early 1980s and are now around an average of about 1.0 million m3
Faced with this evidence of direct and indirect financial effects, combined with environmental and social impacts, there is an urgent need to develop the most effective pest management strategies to deal both with established outbreaks and for early detection and eradication of incipient infestations.