DIGITALNA ARHIVA ŠUMARSKOG LISTA
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were also recognised as being responsible for the health of trees and woodland.
Respondents were asked an open question about who else (an individual or organisation) they would report to if they found a diseased tree or a tree pest. Most respondents chose educational establishments and research institutes (The Faculty of Forestry, The Faculty of Agriculture and The Institute of Forestry) or, in second place, governmental institutions (Ministries, inspectorates, local government or the secretary for nature protection). Some respondents would inform the public enterprise “Srbijasume”, responsible for the management of forests in Serbia and the public enterprise “Zelenilo Beograd”, managing green infrastructure in Belgrade. Only one respondent would share information about new pest or diseased tree on a social network on the internet.
The survey also focused on research concerning the behaviour of respondents. They were asked what actions they already take, or would take in the future, in order to prevent or stop the spread of tree pests and pathogens. Almost all of them answered that they buy plants from registered nurseries or distributors (98.41%). More than half the respondents (52.38%) do not buy imported plants or would be willing to make the decision not to buy imported plants. More than 52% do not dump waste garden plant material and, additionally, 25% would be ready to adopt such behaviour. About 20% of the respondents do not take any action and, in the future, 11% of them would not take any action.
An open question was asked regarding what factors might prevent respondents from changing their behaviour. The majority of answers pointed to a lack of information about pests and pathogens, information on invasive species and education. Some respondents pointed out the importance of legislation related to plant protection and the effective, strict surveying of invasive alien species.
Respondents are aware of the threat from new imports of alien invasive species, as 48% of them agreed with the statement that it is ‘high likely’ that more tree pests and diseases could be imported into the country or region. Additionally, 31% were of the opinion that it is “likely that new imports could occur”. Research revealed that 79% of respondents are aware of the risk that new alien species of tree pests and pathogens could be introduced.
Research on the sources of information used to gain knowledge about tree pests and pathogens indicate that the majority of visitors to The 19th International Horticulture Fair usually use three sources (23.40%) or one and two sources (21.28%). The internet is the most frequently used source of information (29%). In second place are educational establishments (15%) and the third most frequent used sources are newspapers and trade journal articles (14%). Professional organisations which provide lifelong learning are recognised as a source of information for 12% of the respondents.
Preferable types of pest and disease information are about pathways, the identification of pests, photos of pests and their symptoms. Respondents suggested field trips to the affected area or forest. They would like access to information which is simple enough to be understood by non professionals and would prefer to obtain descriptions of species and their symptoms, with illustrations and suggested control measures. Respondents would prefer to receive information through lectures, seminars, training, as well as in the form of TV programmes, printed brochures, books, newspapers, on web sites or other internet sources.
Research on public awareness of tree pests and pathogens revealed that this knowledge is currently insufficient. Research documented that 60.30% of respondents have never heard of the selected tree pests and pathogens. The results reflect the current limited availability of literature providing such knowledge and awareness (Hurley et al., 2012; Tomićević et al., 2012). The survey of public awareness of invasive species, conducted in Belgrade, revealed that 54.17% of respondents were not familiar with alien invasive plants. Additionally, the majority of them (87.50%) expect public information regarding this phenomenon to be provided (Tomićević et al., 2012). Public awareness as well as knowledgeable professionals are important for both the prevention and the reduction of the spread of biological invasions (Liebhold et al., 2012; Liebhold et al., 2013; Haack et al., 2010, Hurley et al., 2012). Research is a very important resource for shaping policy and management responses to biological invasions. Furthering knowledge does not mean that it will be applied or that it offers a practical solution (Bayliss et al., 2013).
The early detection of alien pests is of crucial importance for their successful control. In the case of the invasion of Agrilus planipennis in Moscow, samples were first collected in June 2003 and it was identified in 2005. Consequently, it was realised that this species was responsible for ash dieback in Moscow. In the period from 2006 to 2013 it spread from Moscow up to 230 km westwards, at an average speed of 10-12 km per year. Based on recorded data from the USA, where A. planipennis caused noticeable damage to ash trees 10-15 years after its first introduction, it was concluded that this pest was probably introduced into Moscow in 1990 (Baranchikov, 2014). The American experience with alien species is well documented using historical data; range areas are strongly correlated with time since establishment. The average radial rate of range expansion is 5.2 km per year, and this rate does not differ among foliage