Global Live Plant Trade

Full Title

Globalization of the live plant trade: Informing efficient strategies for reducing non-native pest invasion


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.

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Project Type
Team Synthesis Project
Principal Investigators
Rebecca Epanchin-Niell, Resources for the Future; University of Maryland
Andrew Liebhold, USDA Forest Service
Joe Bischoff, AmericanHort
Kerry Britton, US Forest Service
Eckehard Brockerhoff, Scion (New Zealand Forest Research Institute)
Faith Campbell, The Nature Conservancy
Joe Cavey, USDA
Cuicui Chen, Harvard University
Heather Coady, USDA
Rene Eschen, CABI Bioscience
Rebecca Ganley, Scion
Bob Griffin, USDA
Robert Haight, US Forest Service
Catherine Katsar, USDA APHIS PPQ
Erik Lichtenberg, University of Maryland
Amanda Lindsay, UC Davis
Shailaja Rabindran, USDA
Amy Rossman, US Agricultural Research Service
Cliff Sadof, Purdue University
Alberto Santini, Institute of Sustainable Plant Protection
Lin Schmale, Society of American Florists
Mike Springborn, UC Davis

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