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EPPO’s involvement in the EU project DROPSA

Preparation of alert lists of pests likely to be introduced in the EU with table grapes, apples,
oranges and mandarins, and V
accinium berries


The EU project DROPSA ‘Strategies to develop effective, innovative and practical approaches to protect major European fruit crops from pests and pathogens’ (project number 613678) ran from 2014 to early 2018 and aimed to improve plant health strategies in the fruit sector. Within the DROPSA project, EPPO and JKI (Julius-Kühn-Institute, Germany) carried out task 1.3  ‘Alert list of pathways of introduction in Europe’ under Work Package 1 ‘Pathways of introduction of fruit pests and pathogens’. The main results obained by EPPO and JKI during this project (WP 1 – task 1.3) are presented below.


Review of pathways of introduction of fruit pests into Europe

In this project, an important initial step was to prepare a review of non-native pests of fruit species that have been introduced into Europe or were found in the fruit trade during the last 10–15 years. The review identifed 387 pest species and was then used to identify the main pathways that needed to be further studied.

Analysis of fruit production and imports in the EU to select fruit crops for pathway studies

A methodology was put into place to select fruit crops for pathway studies. In this prioritization process, the main factors used to select fruit crops were the following: trade volumes in the EU,  production areas in the EU, origins of traded fruit  (emerging markets), and history of pest introductions into Europe in relation to fruit imports (following the review from Steffen et al. 2015 – see above). Furthermore, the overall selection aimed to provide a good geographical coverage of fruit production within the EU, to ensure a good balance between fruit crops (i.e. both regulated and non-regulated fruit commodities in the EU), and to cover crops belonging to different groups (e.g. pome fruit, stone fruit, citrus, small fruit). As a result of this analysis, a list of priority fruit crops was established and the following four were further studied in the project: table grapes, apples, oranges and mandarins, and Vaccinium berries

Preparation of pest alert lists for selected fruit crops

A methodology was put into place to prepare alert lists of pests for the four selected fruit crops (table grapes, apples, oranges and mandarins, and Vaccinium berries). This methology was based on the one developped for the EPPO Study on pest risks associated with the import of tomato fruit but was adjusted to better take into account the particularities of the fruit crops studied and the experience gained during the Dropsa project and earlier pathway studies. In addition, this methodology was used to develop the EPPO Standard PM 5/9 Preparation of pest lists in the framework of commodity PRAs.

Specific reports for selected fruit crops and alert lists

For each of the four fruit crops studied a specific report has been prepared. These specific reports provide data on fruit production and trade, as well as explanations on the characteristics of the pathways studied. They also list the pests which have been identified as presenting some risks for the EU fruit production during the different steps of the prioritization process, and finally present an alert list of pests. The alert lists were finalized in December 2015 for Vaccinium berries, and in December 2016 for apples, oranges and mandarins, and table grapes. As a consequence, any new information that might have become available after these dates could not be included. For each fruit crop, specific reports are supplemented with Excel files where all pests that were considered for the alert lists are rated against a number of criteria (e.g. presence or absence in the EU territory, EU phytosanitary measures already in place, level of damage on the selected fruit crop, relationships with other host plants).

Warning: for pests that were finally not retained in alert lists, Excel tables may contain redundant or incomplete data because searching for additional information and ratings stopped as soon as the data obtained was sufficient to justify exclusion of the pest from further consideration. For each pest that has been included in the alert lists, short datasheets have been prepared to summarize data on pathways, hosts, geographical distribution, and damage. All pest-specific datasheets can be retrieved in the EPPO Global Database (see summarizing table below and follow the links).

It was not possible to conduct a detailed analysis for fruit species outside the four selected groups. However, pests that are already included in one or more of the alert lists (and for which a datasheet had been prepared) but that have other fruit crops as hosts were kept in a separate list (list of other pests of interest). This additional list also includes pests that may be associated with one of the fruit groups considered but that are also a threat for other crops.