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PREPSYSlogo250.jpgThis multi partner project was focused on understanding how we can best prepare for, and manage if necessary, the risks and impacts of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) and bronze birch borer (Agrilus anxius). The project addressed key questions and gaps in our knowledge on the pests’ biology, control, dispersal and economic and environmental impacts.

The project was delivered by an international partnership which includes organisations from the UK, Netherlands, Ireland, USA and Austria.

Research objectives

The main objective of the project was to provide evidence to underpin contingency planning, policy development and policy communication through assessing the entry, establishment, spread, impact and management of the emerald ash borer (EAB) and bronze birch borer (BBB). The emphasis was on reducing the likelihood of their entry and establishment but also in a worst case scenario, to provide evidence on how to cope should the pests succeed in establishing populations in Europe and the UK.

Please follow these links for further detail on the project’s objectives, work packages, a list of the project’s key research questions and the research findings and recommendations.

Related Resources

Forest Research and partners have produced a briefing note: "Threats to European trees from the emerald ash borer and bronze birch borer". This report synthesises existing information on the topic, outlines the key research findings and presents a toolbox to help prepare for and manage emerald ash borer and bronze birch borer.

As the research was conducted under the banner of EUPHRESCO, a final project report was produced for them and published on the EUPHRESCO website.

Four team members visited Canada and US in the summer of 2017 to find out more about EAB management. An article was published about the trip. This article, titled "Preparing for an invation", first appeared in the autumn 2017 issue of Chartered Forester, the magazine for members of the Institute of Chartered Foresters. It is reproduced by kind permission of the Institute. 

PREPSYS then held a an international conference in Austria in 2018 (supported by the OECD). Details of the conference including the presentations are available on the BFW website. Following the conference, a special issue on emerald ash borer was published in the academic journal Forestry

A number of presentations were also given to colleagues in the US and Canada:

Distribution and impact of emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera:Buprestidae) in the Moscow region of Russia and the threat to Europe

Preparing Europe for emerald ash borer and bronze birch borer: filling the knowledge gaps to prepare for the worst

Risk-based strategies to prepare for and manage invasive tree borers


PREPSYS started in October 2016 and the final report was published in May 2021.


Dr Mariella Marzano

Funders and partners

PREPSYS was funded through the international EUPHRESCO network, each funder pays for the participation of their own national researchers.

The Forest Research elements of the project were funded by Defra under the Future Proofing Plant Health programme.

The project partners were:




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