Since the first detection of the pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, in Portugal in 1999 and in Spain in 2008, this major threat of pine trees is subjected to increased and permanent monitoring in France and more generally in Europe. Native to North America, it was accidentally introduced in Asia where it causes severe damages. It was detected in Japan in 1905, in China in 1982, in Korea in 1988 and in Taiwan in 1995. It was detected for the first time in Europe in 1999 close to Lisbon in Portugal, and since has spread to nearly all the country including the Portuguese island of Madeira in 2009, but also extended into different forests in Spain since 2008.
The scientific community studies this invasive pathogenic nematode, its insect vector (Monochamus spp.) and the susceptibility of pine trees. This requires multidisciplinary approaches gathering experts in nematology, entomology, tree resistance, ecology, genetics and modelling.