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Pautasso M.,ETH Zurich | Pautasso M.,Animal and Plant Health Unit
Ecological Modelling

Borrett et al. (2014) report a jump in network ecology publications between 1990 and 1991 but fail to find a cause for it. This jump in publication output is not a mystery, but a Web of Science artefact, due to the restriction of this database search to titles until 1990, whilst also abstracts and keywords are systematically searched in Web of Science starting from 1991. Indeed there is no such leap in publication numbers between 1990 and 1991 in Google Scholar. A sudden increase in publication numbers between the years 1990 and 1991 is instead found in Web of Science when searching for a variety of keywords. Until Web of Science allows researchers to consistently search for keywords within abstracts also before 1991, bibliometric research on publication growth rates using Web of Science should avoid comparing the number of publications retrieved before and after 1991. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Pautasso M.,Animal and Plant Health Unit | Pautasso M.,ETH Zurich

Maintaining forest health is a worldwide challenge due to emerging tree diseases, shifts in climate conditions and other global change stressors. Research on forest health is thus accumulating rapidly, but there has been little use of scientometric approaches in forest pathology and dendrology. Scientometrics is the quantitative study of trends in the scientific literature. As with all tools, scientometrics needs to be used carefully (e.g., by checking findings in multiple databases) and its results must be interpreted with caution. In this overview, we provide some examples of studies of patterns in the scientific literature related to forest health and tree pathogens. Whilst research on ash dieback has increased rapidly over the last years, papers mentioning theWaldsterben have become rare in the literature. As with human health and diseases, but in contrast to plant health and diseases, there are consistently more publications mentioning "tree health" than "tree disease," possibly a consequence of the often holistic nature of forest pathology. Scientometric tools can help balance research attention towards understudied emerging risks to forest trees, as well as identify temporal trends in public interest in forests and their health. © 2016 by the authors. Source

Pautasso M.,Animal and Plant Health Unit | Petter F.,EPPO | Rortais A.,Scientific Committee and Emerging Risks Unit | Roy A.-S.,EPPO
CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources

Emerging plant pests and diseases are a threat to biodiversity, food security and sustainability. In Europe, recent plant health emergencies include European ash dieback (due to the ascomycete Hymenoscyphus fraxineus), the outbreak of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa on olive trees in Apulia, Italy and the invasion by the vinegar cherry fly Drosophila suzukii. The main drivers of new plant health threats are increased long-distance plant trade, climate changes and the adoption of new crops (e.g. biofuels). This overview provides an update on available literature on tools and approaches to assess the risk posed by emerging plant health threats in Europe. In the European Union (EU), as well as in other regions, plant health risk assessment (carried out since 2006 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)) is clearly separated from risk management decisions (taken by the European Commission and Council through the Standing Committee on Plant Health). The role of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) is very important as an independent plant health risk assessment body covering the whole of Europe, not just the EU, thus liaising with neighbouring regions such as the Maghreb, Asia Minor and Russia. The main activities and projects of EPPO and EFSA in the domain of emerging plant health risks are summarized. The ongoing revision of the EU plant health regulations is an opportunity to improve biosecurity in the face of both the massive increase in trade of plant commodities and climate change. However, improving regulations (e.g. integrating new tools from evolutionary ecology and network theory) is not a panacea: there is also the need to increase public awareness and engagement, to facilitate interdisciplinary careers related to plant health, as well as to ensure long-term funding for research on emerging risks to plant health. © CAB International 2011. Source

Pautasso M.,ETH Zurich | Pautasso M.,Animal and Plant Health Unit
EPPO Bulletin

Scientometric and bibliometric methods are increasingly applied to study temporal trends in scientific outputs, but there has been little application in plant and forest health. This research note uses the Google Books N-Grams search engine to explore temporal trends in the use of terms related to forest pathology in published books. The search was performed for books in American and British English, French, German and Italian. There is evidence for a relative decline in the use of the term 'forest pathology', since the 1950s in books in American English and since the 1990s in books in British English. This decline was counterbalanced by a relative increase in the use of the term 'forest health' between the 1980s and the end of the 1990s, whereas the term 'tree diseases' roughly followed the same trend as 'forest pathology'. A declining trend was observed for 'pathologie forestière' (since the 1980s), both 'Waldschutz' and 'Forstschutz' (since the 1990s), as well as 'patologia forestale' (since the 1950s). The use of the terms 'dendrology', 'forest entomology', 'forest genetics', 'mycology', 'plant pathology' appears to have followed the trend observed for 'forest pathology' in all studied languages. Conversely, there has been an increase in books mentioning topics such as 'ecosystem health' and 'old-growth forests.' The trends observed here call for increased efforts to make the public aware of trees, their diseases and the health of forests. © 2015 Organisation Européenne et Méditerranéenne pour la Protection des Plantes/European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. Source

Barredo J.I.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Strona G.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | de Rigo D.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Caudullo G.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | And 2 more authors.
EPPO Bulletin

Forest insect pests represent a serious threat to European forests and their negative effects could be exacerbated by climate change. This paper illustrates how species distribution modelling integrated with host tree species distribution data can be used to assess forest vulnerability to this threat. Two case studies are used: large pine weevil (Hylobius abietis L) and horse-chestnut leaf miner (Cameraria ohridella Deschka & Dimič) both at pan-European level. The proposed approach integrates information from different sources. Occurrence data of insect pests were collected from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), climatic variables for present climate and future scenarios were sourced, respectively, from WorldClim and from the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), and distributional data of host tree species were obtained from the European Forest Data Centre (EFDAC), within the Forest Information System for Europe (FISE). The potential habitat of the target pests was calculated using the machine learning algorithm of Maxent model. On the one hand, the results highlight the potential of species distribution modelling as a valuable tool for decision makers. On the other hand, they stress how this approach can be limited by poor pest data availability, emphasizing the need to establish a harmonised open European database of geo-referenced insect pest distribution data. © 2015 The Authors. Source

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