REVIEW ARTICLES HIGHLIGHT INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE OF B3 RESEARCH

Number of insect eradication programmes per country (data from Global Eradication and Response Database, b3.net.nz/gerda)

 

Several recent publications in prestigious international journals highlight the high calibre and importance of work being produced by scientists involved in the Better Border Biosecurity (B3) collaboration.

 

The first review, published in Science by Dr Eckehard Brockerhoff of Scion and colleagues from the University of Pretoria, highlights the urgent need for a global biosecurity strategy for planted forests. The article discusses the need for innovative solutions and a better-coordinated global approach to protect planted forests from introduced insects and pathogens.

 

The article emphasises the importance of preventing biosecurity breaches at the border, especially in isolated countries such as New Zealand, but it also acknowledges the large number of poorer countries that have limited resources for effective biosecurity measures. As a result, mitigation techniques are also needed for established and emerging pest problems.

 

Brockerhoff says, “Increased international collaboration is needed to deal with biosecurity threats because many pests and pathogens have the capacity to spread worldwide, and some countries cannot afford to maintain the level of biosecurity needed for total exclusion and effective responses.”

 

Preparing for future invasions will require investment in the type of research and innovation that scientists associated with B3 are producing.

 

The second high-profile review was published in the Annual Review of Entomology by Brockerhoff, Dr John Kean of AgResearch, Dr Max Suckling of Plant & Food Research and colleagues in the USA, Japan and Czechoslovakia. The article reviews new advances in surveillance and eradication programmes, which given current globalization trends, are playing an increasingly important role in non-native pest exclusion.

 

New developments include an improved understanding of low-density population dynamics, the availability of highly effective treatment tactics, and bioeconomic analyses of eradication strategies.

 

The authors argue that investment in surveillance programs such as the ones developed under the auspices of B3 is crucial to reduce costs and increase the success of eradication efforts.

 

Future challenges include the need for more acceptable eradication technologies and new and better strategies for engagement with the public. Improved surveillance systems across a wider range of invasive taxa are also needed.

 

Dr David Teulon, Director of B3, says, “These two articles highlight the excellent research that is being done by scientists associated with the B3 consortium. They show that B3 scientists are firmly at the forefront of border biosecurity research.”

 

Cited articles

  • Wingfield MJ, Brockerhoff EG, Wingfield BD, Slippers B (2015) Planted forest health: The need for a global strategy. Science 349, 832–836. doi: 10.1126/science.aac6674.

  • Liebhold AM, Berec L, Brockerhoff E, Epanchin-Niell R, Hastings A, Herms DA, Kean JM, McCullough DG, Suckling DM, Tobin PC, Yamanaka T 2016. Eradication of invading insect populations: from concepts to applications. Annual Review of Entomology 61: 335-352.  doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-010715-023809.

 

Contact:  Ecki Brockerhoff (Eckehard [dot] Brockerhoff [at] scionresearch [dot] com)