Introductions of non-native plant pathogens into Great Britain, 1970–2004




An analysis of records of plant pathogens first identified in Great Britain from 1970 to 2004 (inclusive) was undertaken to determine the numbers of new species that have become established over time. Results show that the numbers of newly recorded pathogens have not varied significantly. Of the 234 pathogens recorded for the first time between 1970 and 2004, 157 were fungi, 27 were oomycetes, 26 were viruses, 23 were bacteria, and one was a phytoplasma. Approximately 53% of pathogens were found on ornamental crops, 16% on horticultural crops, 15% on wild native species, 12% on agricultural crops, 2% on pasture plants and 2% on exotic forestry tree species. Where the origin of introductions was known or strongly suspected, 47% came from the Netherlands. About 38% of newly recorded pathogens with information on the location of first record were discovered in the South East region of England. Plant Pathologists regarded 19% of all new pathogens as important because of actual or potential economic/environmental losses. The results indicate that the numbers of new or important pathogens establishing in recent years are not increasing and that most new findings are associated with ornamental plants.