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International Plant Sentinel Network




The increasing globalisation of trade in plants and plant material, together with the impacts of climate change, has led to an increase in the introduction and spread of new and damaging plant pests and pathogens. Past examples of the devastating impact these organisms can have on plant populations, such as Dutch elm disease on UK elm trees and the emerald ash borer on U.S. ash populations, illustrate the significant threat these alien pests and pathogens pose to global plant health. 

The International Plant Sentinel Network (IPSN) is being developed to facilitate collaboration amongst institutes around the world, with a focus on linking botanic gardens and arboreta, National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPOs) and plant health scientists. The aim will be for these institutes to work together in order to provide an early warning system of new and emerging pest and pathogen risks. Member gardens will help to provide scientific evidence regarding known quarantine organisms and potential new risks to NPPOs in order to inform plant health activities and thus help safeguard susceptible plant species worldwide.

The IPSN aims to:

  •     seek and share examples of best practice;
  •     develop standardised methodologies for monitoring and surveying of damaging plant pests and pathogens;
  •     provide training materials to increase capability among member gardens;
  •     facilitate access to diagnostic support;
  •     develop databases in order to share and store information; and
  •     communicate scientific evidence with NPPOs.

Developing an International Plant Sentinel Network:

 Citrus Longhorn Beetle



IPSN Overview

More information on the background of the network, sentinel plants and the role for the IPSN in protecting global plant health.

 Blister rust on Whitebark_USDAForestryService



Building the network

IPSN participants, member botanic gardens and arboreta and links to current resources and databases that provide information on plant pests and diseases.

 Scale Insect




Updates on the work and development of the IPSN. 

 Mountain Pine Beetle_USDAForestryService



How to get involved

More information on the resources and activities of the IPSN including how to join the network.

 Horse Chestnut Scale_Fera




The IPSN is part of a 3 year EUPHRESCO project which sees collaboration from a number of partners across Europe; all of which have extensive experience and knowledge of plant pests and pathogens.


Further information

The International Plant Sentinel Network is keen to hear from any botanic gardens and arboreta or any institutes / individuals involved in plant health who are interested in the project. For more information please contact Ellie Barham (, IPSN coordinator) or to join the network click here or follow us on twitter @IPSN_BGCI