Marine cargo imports and forest pest introductionsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
A major pathway for the introduction of nonindigenous forest pests is accidental transport on cargo imported from overseas. Diseases may be brought into the United States via commercial trade of nursery stock or other live plant material, as has been suggested for Phytophthora ramorum, the pathogen that causes sudden oak death (Ivors and others 2006). Insects may similarly hitchhike on live plants, but may be more commonly transported on or in raw logs, wood products, dunnage (materials used to space or brace cargo loads), and solid wood packing materials. Pallets, crates, and other materials used to protect and contain goods for shipment are often made from poorquality wood that is in many cases not fully debarked (Campbell 2001). Such materials are particularly good vectors for bark beetles and wood boring insects, which can survive in the materials throughout the shipment duration (Brockerhoff and others 2006, Haack 2006).