The pine flat bug is a palearctic region pest of coniferous and hardwood trees. The pest is distributed from the United Kingdom to Siberia and feeds on the tissue of seedlings and young trees and can cause serious damage in nurseries, Christmas tree plantations, and seedlings or sprouts in natural or planted settings. The likelihood of introduction and subsequent establishment in the United States is high, as the species is easily overlooked, is viable after transport in low temperatures, and is unlikely to be dislodged during transport. Infestations of pine flat bug in North America have not been observed to date (USDA APHIS & Forest Service 2000).
USFS scientists and managers developed a conservation priority-setting framework for forest tree species at risk from pest & pathogens and other threats. The Project CAPTURE (Conservation Assessment and Prioritization of Forest Trees Under Risk of Extirpation) uses FIA data and expert opinion to group tree species under threat by non-native pests into vulnerability classes and specify appropriate management and conservation strategies. The scientists prioritized 419 tree species native to the North American continent. The analysis identified 15 taxonomic groups requiring the most immediate conservation intervention because of the tree species’ exposure to an extrinsic threat, their sensitivity to the threat, and their ability to adapt to it. Each of these 15 most vulnerable species, and several additional species, should be the focus of both a comprehensive gene conservation program and a genetic resistance screening and development effort. Pine flat bug is not known to be a threat to any of these 15 most vulnerable species.
United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Forest Service 2000. Pest Risk Assessment for Importation of Solid Wood Packing Materials into the United States. USDA APHIS and Forest Service. August 2000.
Potter, K.M., Escanferla, M.E., Jetton, R.M., Man, G., Crane, B.S., Prioritizing the conservation needs of US tree spp: Evaluating vulnerability to forest insect and disease threats, Global Ecology and Conservation (2019), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/