A pan-European workshop to respond to biotic threats


A pan-European workshop on bark beetles and other biotic agents was organized by the SURE project (SUstaining and Enhancing REsilience of European Forests) at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague on 2nd and 3rd of April 2019. A total of 52 experts of 18 European countries exchanged on operational tools which exist at a forest management unit, management district and societal/policy level to respond to biotic threats. Following the workshop, a “toolbox” for each phase and level of biotic risk management will be developed and made available as an interactive, searchable on-line compendium.

The European Forest Institute’s Bordeaux Office (EFIPLANT) who coordinates the PLURIFOR project on Transnational Plans for the Management of Forest Risks participated to the workshop and shared experience on the management of pinewood nematode (PWN) in South Western Europe and tools for the detection and monitoring of biotic threats. Currently established in Portugal and Spain, PWN invades the stems and branches of pine trees causing a sudden wilting and death of trees. PWN is a threat to European forests at it can potentially spread to other conifer species. It is regulated by various European Union directives (2012/535/EU and 2015/226/EU). Field and laboratory surveys are the most common tools used to monitor the agent. However, eradication tools such as buffering and the removal of unhealthy trees are also employed when the agent has been specifically localized in a given area. For example, PWN was detected in Villanueva de la Sierra (Spain) in 2008 has been successfully eradicated in the municipality. Other areas in Spain where PWN occur are still under eradication.

SURE is a 3-year project aiming at enhancing forest resilience and addressing disturbance related risks as an integral part of sustainable forest management through facilitating networking, learning and capacity building. The project is coordinated by the European Forest Institute’s Bonn Office (EFI-Bonn) and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL). SURE fosters knowledge and experience exchange for a better understanding of forest risks to support effective collaboration and coordination of relevant national bodies and facilitate the exchange of good practices. Thematic workshops - as the one explained above - are also organized to support capacity building and training for enhancing forest resilience in relation to drought and forest fires, storms and biotic threats.


More information on:



Pinewood nematode tools

Pinewood nematode occurrence in Europe