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International standards significantly reducing insect stowaways in wood packaging material

Date:
May 14, 2014
Source:
USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station
Summary:
A new international standard for wood packaging material used in international trade is significantly slowing the inadvertent export of stowaway invasive bark- and wood-boring insects."The reduction in infestation rate would likely have been even higher if we had more years of data that predated U.S. implementation of these international standards," the lead author said. "For example, based on infestation data of wood packaging material entering New Zealand from the early 1990s, when infestation rates were higher, ISPM 15 has achieved closer to a 97 percent reduction in the number of insect stowaways."

A new international standard for wood packaging material used in international trade is significantly slowing the inadvertent export of stowaway invasive bark- and wood-boring insects, according to a study by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). Lead author Robert Haack, a research entomologist with the U.S. Forest Service's Northern Research Station in East Lansing, Mich., and his colleagues found as much as a 52 percent drop in the infestation rate of wood packaging material associated with international imports entering the United States.

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"The reduction in infestation rate would likely have been even higher if we had more years of data that predated U.S. implementation of these international standards," Haack said. "For example, based on infestation data of wood packaging material entering New Zealand from the early 1990s, when infestation rates were higher, ISPM 15 has achieved closer to a 97 percent reduction in the number of insect stowaways."

The study, "Effectiveness of the International Phytosanitary Standard ISPM No. 15 on Reducing Wood Borer Infestation Rates in Wood Packaging Material Entering the United States," was published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) is a set of standards developed by the International Plant Protection Convention stipulating how wood packaging material used for international trade, such as pallets and crating, should be treated before export. Wood packaging material has carried numerous non-native forest pest invaders to countries throughout the world. Several hundred non-native forest insect species have become established in the U.S., and recent arrivals such as the Asian longhorned beetle and the emerald ash borer have killed millions of trees and altered urban landscapes in the Northeast and Midwest.

The United States implemented the new standard in three phases between 2005 and 2006; as of October 2013, more than 78 countries had implemented ISPM 15. To evaluate whether the new standards were effective, Haack and his colleagues used data from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to compare wood packaging infestation rates from 2 years prior to U.S. implementation of the new international standards and infestation rates in the first 4 years after the standards were implemented.

A lack of data prior to implementation of the new international standards often limits scientists' abilities to evaluate their effectiveness, according to Haack. The analysis demonstrated a need for well-planned sampling programs before and after implementation of major phytosanitary policies so that their effectiveness can be assessed, Haack said.

"Destructive invasive insects have changed forest landscapes in the United States and throughout the world," said Michael T. Rains, Director of the Northern Research Station and the Forest Products Lab. "Forest Service research is vital to informing national and international policies addressing those problems."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert A. Haack, Kerry O. Britton, Eckehard G. Brockerhoff, Joseph F. Cavey, Lynn J. Garrett, Mark Kimberley, Frank Lowenstein, Amelia Nuding, Lars J. Olson, James Turner, Kathryn N. Vasilaky. Effectiveness of the International Phytosanitary Standard ISPM No. 15 on Reducing Wood Borer Infestation Rates in Wood Packaging Material Entering the United States. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (5): e96611 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096611

Cite This Page:

USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station. "International standards significantly reducing insect stowaways in wood packaging material." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514182812.htm>.
USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station. (2014, May 14). International standards significantly reducing insect stowaways in wood packaging material. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514182812.htm
USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station. "International standards significantly reducing insect stowaways in wood packaging material." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514182812.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

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