Learning from history, predicting the future: the UK Dutch elm disease outbreak in relation to contemporary tree disease threats
Potter, C. and Harwood, T. and Knight, J. and Tomlinson, Isobel (2011) Learning from history, predicting the future: the UK Dutch elm disease outbreak in relation to contemporary tree disease threats. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366 (1573), pp. 1966-1974. ISSN 0962-8436.
Expanding international trade and increased transportation are heavily implicated in the growing threat posed by invasive pathogens to biodiversity and landscapes. With trees and woodland in the UK now facing threats from a number of disease systems, this paper looks to historical experience with the Dutch elm disease (DED) epidemic of the 1970s to see what can be learned about an outbreak and attempts to prevent, manage and control it. The paper draws on an interdisciplinary investigation into the history, biology and policy of the epidemic. It presents a reconstruction based on a spatial modelling exercise underpinned by archival research and interviews with individuals involved in the attempted management of the epidemic at the time. The paper explores what, if anything, might have been done to contain the outbreak and discusses the wider lessons for plant protection. Reading across to present-day biosecurity concerns, the paper looks at the current outbreak of ramorum blight in the UK and presents an analysis of the unfolding epidemiology and policy of this more recent, and potentially very serious, disease outbreak. The paper concludes by reflecting on the continuing contemporary relevance of the DED experience at an important juncture in the evolution of plant protection policy.
|Keyword(s) / Subject(s):||tree disease epidemics, Dutch elm disease, Phytophthora, biosecurity, biodiversity, epidemiological modelling|
|School:||Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Geography, Environment and Development Studies|
|Date Deposited:||20 Jun 2012 09:48|
|Last Modified:||17 Apr 2013 12:23|
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