Biological Invasions

, Volume 18, Issue 10, pp 2841–2851 | Cite as

The susceptibility of European tree species to invasive Asian pathogens: a literature based analysis

  • Michael M. Müller
  • Leena Hamberg
  • Jarkko Hantula
Original Paper


Alien invasive pathogens have caused numerous disastrous epidemics around the globe during the last two centuries. The frequency of these catastrophes has increased in parallel with the increase of international plant trade. Effective control of the risks requires understanding of factors governing vulnerability of indigenous plants. We tested whether the threat caused by alien pathogens of Asian origin is random among various tree species in Europe or whether it relates to their distribution range. A database including distribution ranges of 75 European tree species and literature-derived information on their susceptibility to invasive forest pathogens (IFPs) of Asian origin was compiled. Analysis on this database indicated that the susceptibility to Asian pathogens is significantly more common among tree species that occur only within Europe than among species with distributional ranges from Europe to Siberia (disease susceptibility percentage, DSP, 52 and 19 %, respectively). Notably, all severely attacked tree species are strictly European while tree species with distribution ranges extending from Europe to Siberia show at most only mild or moderate symptoms of Asian IFPs. Furthermore, the proportion of European broadleaf tree species susceptible to Asian IFPs is significantly higher than that of conifer species. Our results suggest that in Europe, Asian pathogens cause a higher risk to temperate and Mediterranean forests, largely composed of broadleaved species with distributional ranges restricted to Europe, than to boreal forests dominated by conifers distributed to Siberia.


Invasive forest pathogens (IFPs) Forest Europe Asia Distribution range Fungi 



Salla Hannunen is acknowledged for extracting statistics on EU trade, Anne Siika for producing the figures, Heikki Hänninen for help in searching the literature, Kiti Müller for comments on the manuscript and Johan Kotze for checking the language. The work was supported by the Academy of Finland (project 258520).

Supplementary material

10530_2016_1174_MOESM1_ESM.xls (70 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLS 70 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael M. Müller
    • 1
  • Leena Hamberg
    • 1
  • Jarkko Hantula
    • 1
  1. 1.Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)VantaaFinland

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