An Introduction to Plant Biosecurity: Past, Present and Future

  • Philip E. Hulme


Plant biosecurity is a strategic and integrated approach that encompasses the policy and regulatory frameworks that analyse and manage risks to plant life and health, including associated environmental risk. It covers all activities aimed at managing the introduction of alien species to a particular region and mitigating their impacts should they become invasive. This includes the regulation of intentional (including illegal) and unintentional introductions and also the management of invasive alien pests (weeds, insects and pathogens) by federal, state and local government, industry and other stakeholders. Biosecurity activities occur along a continuum that starts offshore or pre-border in order to reduce the risks posed by other countries, then at a nation’s borders to stop pests from entering a particular region and finally within a region or post-border to locate and eradicate or manage risk organisms that have crossed the border and established in the region. Biosecurity management is a major challenge that requires knowledge and analysis of the diverse and complex risks along this continuum to identify, prioritise and apply measures in a coherent manner to progressively reduce the risks. To illustrate this challenge, both the range of economic and environmental impacts posed by alien species as well as the diversity of pathways with which these species are introduced into a new region are reviewed. Against this background of increasing biological invasions, the effectiveness of current regulatory tools is appraised and forms the basis for recommendations as to where improvements in the management of biosecurity threats should be made.


Alien Species Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Stem Rust Alien Plant Invasive Alien Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside of the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Bio-Protection Research CentreLincoln UniversityChristchurchNew Zealand

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