An International Plant Sentinel Network

Ellie Barham, Suzanne Sharrock, Charles Lane, Richard Baker

Abstract


Invasive plant pests and pathogens pose a major threat to biodiversity around the world, amplified in recent years by the globalisation of trade in plants and plant material and the impacts of climate change. Botanic gardens and arboreta offer a unique opportunity for the identification and further investigation of new and emerging pest and pathogen risks, which can provide valuable information for the creation of prevention, eradication and control programmes. The International Plant Sentinel Network (IPSN) is being developed to provide a platform for coordination, information exchange and support for sentinel plant research within botanic gardens and arboreta. Alongside IPSN Member Gardens, the network includes plant protection professionals and National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPOs) from around the world. The IPSN provides tools which will help to enable gardens to contribute to research by increasing knowledge and awareness among garden staff, developing standardised approaches and providing training materials and methodologies for monitoring and surveying. The network also promotes links with local professional diagnostic support that can help aid the early detection and rapid response to new pest incursions, thus protecting valuable, and often unique, plant collections.

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