Globalization of the Live Plant Trade: Informing Efficient Strategies for Reducing Non-Native Pest Invasion Risk

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Award Year: 
Principal Investigator: 
Rebecca S. Epanchin-Niell, Resources for the Future
Andrew M. Liebhold, U.S. Forest Service

Over 2.5 billion plants were imported into the United States in 2009. This global trade in live plants is a major pathway for invasion by non‐native insect pests and diseases of agricultural and natural resources. Identifying cost-efficient strategies for reducing the economic and environmental risks associated with invasive pest introduction is a major challenge.

Over the course of this synthesis effort, economists, biologists, and policy experts will work together to address this urgent need. The team will analyze geographic and temporal trends in live plant imports and will identify the specific pest risks associated with different plant and trade route pathways. Models will be used to evaluate the relative costs and benefits arising and to evaluate strategies for reducing risks through targeted inspection activities and prevention approaches. This synthesis is critically needed to help guide policy development and for prioritizing mitigation efforts to achieve the greatest returns while minimizing negative impacts on international trade.

Joe Bischoff, AmericanHort
Kerry Britton, U.S. Forest Service
Eckehard Brockerhoff, Scion
Faith Campbell, The Nature Conservancy
Joe Cavey, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Judy Che-Castaldo, SESYNC
Cuicui Chen, Harvard University
Heather Coady, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Rene Eschen, Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International
Rebecca Ganley, Scion
Bob Griffin, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Robert Haight, U.S. Forest Service
Catherine Katsar, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Erik Lichtenberg, University of Maryland
Amanda Lindsay, University of California, Davis
Lars J. Olson, University of Maryland
Shailaja Rabindran, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Amy Rossman, U.S. Agricultural Research Service
Cliff Sadof, Purdue University
Alberto Santini, Institute of Sustainable Plant Protection
Lin Schmale, Society of American Florists
Mike Springborn, University of California, Davis
Associated SESYNC Researcher(s): 
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