Pest categorisation of Chrysomyxa arctostaphyli
Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Chrysomyxa arctostaphyli, a well‐defined and distinguishable fungal species of the family Coleosporiaceae. The pathogen is regulated in Council Directive 2000/29/EC (Annex IAI) as a harmful organism whose introduction into the EU is banned. C. arctostaphyli is native to North America and is the causal agent of spruce broom rust. C. arctostaphyli is a heteroecious rust with a 2‐year life cycle alternating between the aecial host Picea spp. and the telial host Arctostaphylos spp. The main reported aecial host is P. engelmannii, but also P. abies, P. pungens, P. sitchensis, P. glauca, P. mariana and P. rubens (as well as Picea as a genus) are reported as hosts. The fungus is not known to occur in the EU but could enter via host plants for planting and cut branches. It could establish in the EU, as hosts are present and climatic conditions are favourable. The extent of overlap between the ranges of the telial and aecial hosts is greater in the EU than in North America. The pathogen would be able to spread following establishment by dissemination of spores and human movement of infected host plants. Should the pathogen be introduced in the EU, impacts can be expected in spruce woodland, plantations and on ornamental spruce trees, leading to reduced tree growth and associated ecosystem service provision. The main uncertainty concerns the level of susceptibility of P. abies and P. sitchensis under European conditions. The criteria assessed by the Panel for consideration as a potential quarantine pest are met. As the pest is not present in the EU, not all criteria for consideration as a regulated non‐quarantine pest are met.