Pest categorisation of Coniferiporia sulphurascens and Coniferiporia weirii
Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Coniferiporia sulphurascens and Coniferiporia weirii, two well‐defined and distinguishable fungal species of the family Hymenochaetaceae. The pathogens are regulated in Council Directive 2000/29/EC (Annex IAI, under the previous name Inonotus weirii for both species) as a harmful organism whose introduction into the EU is banned. The two pathogens are native to North America, where C. sulphurascens causes laminated root rot primarily in Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and grand fir (Abies grandis), while C. weirii causes cedar laminated root and butt rot mainly in cedars (Thuja plicata and Cupressus nootkatensis). C. weirii has been reported from Japan and China, and C. sulphurascens from China, Russia and Turkey. Neither species has been reported from the EU. C. sulphurascens may infect all conifers, while C. weirii is reported to mainly cause disease in tree species of Thuja spp. and Cupressus spp. The two pathogens could enter the EU mainly via wood with bark, isolated bark and plants for planting (including artificially dwarfed plants) of Pinaceae and Cupressaceae. Both fungi could establish in the EU, as hosts are present and climatic conditions are favourable. The two pathogens would be able to spread following establishment by the pathways mentioned for entry and also by dissemination of basidiospores and root contact with infected root/wood. Should the pathogen be introduced in the EU, impacts can be expected on coniferous woodlands, plantations and ornamental trees, thus leading to reduced tree growth and ecosystem service provision. The key uncertainties concern (i) the distribution of the two pathogens in Asia, (ii) the level of susceptibility of conifers native to Europe and (iii) the role of plants for planting as a pathway of entry and spread. For both pathogens, the criteria assessed by the Panel for consideration as a potential quarantine pest are met. As the two pests are not present in the EU, not all the criteria for consideration as regulated non‐quarantine pests are met.