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International cooperation against the threat of invasive species

Researchers from the Department of Biology involved in the ALIEM project

Fight the spread of the Asian hornet and the red palm weevil, two of the invasive species that threaten ecosystems of the Mediterranean: this is the goal of the team of researchers from the Department of Biology coordinated by Rita Cervo and Alessandro Cini and engaged in the project ALIEM (Action pour limiter les risques de diffusion des espèces Introduites Envahissantes en Méditerranée), funded by the European Union within the framework the interregional program Italy-France Maritime 2014-2020.

The network of research centres and institutions of the ALIEM project was created to monitor and jointly tackle the phenomenon of invasive plants and insects - recognized as the second leading cause of loss of biodiversity in the Mediterranean - and seek solutions to fight them in an environmentally sustainable way.

Cervo and Cini, together with colleagues from the Department of Biology, who have been studying these issues for years, have the specific task of monitoring and proposing ways to limit the proliferation of the two insects, which, in recent years, have also invaded several regions of Italy.

The Asian hornet arrived in France in the past decade from China and from there it spread to the rest of Europe and in our country. This hornet threatens bees and other pollinating insects on which it feeds, damaging plant biodiversity guaranteed by the bees themselves and the beekeeping sector. The red palm weevil is a beetle native to Asia, which has spread to much of the Italian Peninsula and is affecting various species of palm trees.

03 March 2017