Abstract

The detection in 1999 of the pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, in Portugal triggered survey activities in many European countries. With the assumption that PWN would reach frequency 10 times lower than the native B. mucronatus and the requirement of a 95 % confidence limit suggested 2 995 samples to be required for a safe statement on the absence of PWN from the territory surveyed. Samples were taken from 10 circular areas with 50 km diameter erected from a point of import of risk materials. In the period 2000-2006 3 165 wood samples, 2 880 from Pinus sylvestris, 279 from Picea abies and 6 from unknown wood, were collected from 446 logging sites, in 84 municipalities and 13 counties. Of the total material 85 % of the samples came from cutting wastes, timber or lying trees. Wood showing signs of insect activity (incl. Monochamus) formed 73 % of the total material. Nematodes were recorded in 85 % of the samples. The order Rhabditida was most frequent, followed by the orders Aphelenchida, Tylenchida and Dorylaimida. Rhabditid nematodes were equally frequent in pine and spruce, while Aphelenchida (Aphelenchus, Aphelenchoides, Cryptaphelenchus, Seinura and Bursaphelenchus) and Tylenchida (Filenchus, Lelenchus, Ditylenchus, Deladenus and Nothotylenchus) tended to be more common in pinewood. Aphelenchoides was the most common genus. The genus Bursaphelenchus occurred in 1 % of the samples. B. mucronatus was detected in 0,3 % of the samples and most often in cutting waste of pine. The pine wood nematode (PWN), B. xylophilus, was not detected in this survey. The unexpected low natural occurrence of B. mucronatus indicates that the number of potential niches for PWN also is lower than expected, and hence it will be necessary to continue this surveillance program to reach 10 000 samples. The present zone sites in central and south-eastern Norway will be supplemented with 1-2 zone sites in southwestern region of the country. In the future these zone sites will function as permanent observation areas. Care will also be taken to collect all samples from detached wood with signs of Monochamus activity.