The invasive fruit fly, Drosophila suzukii (spotted wing drosophila, SWD), is an economic threat in Sweden to soft fruit and berry production. Since its detection in Europe in 2008, SWD has rapidly spread across Europe, infesting a wide range of cultivated and wild fruits and berries, with up to 100% damage reported in berries and cherries (Asplen et al. 2015). From its first detection reported in 2014 in southern Sweden (Jordbruksverket, JBV), the population had spread with damage reported in post-harvest raspberries in 2015, and a significant increase in the number of flies throughout Skåne in 2016 and 2017 (JBV). In addition, SWD was found in almost every fruit and berry crop in southern Sweden, including raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, plums, elderberries and red grapes, and was detected for the first time north of Skåne (JBV).
Our research proposal aimed to analyze the risk of SWD to soft fruit and berries grown in Sweden, and to conduct research that would aim to minimize the economic impact of this pest. Our project goals were: 1) to optimize monitoring tools for SWD; 2) to assess the occurrence and infestation of SWD in commercial crops and in natural hosts throughout the year; and 3) to optimize information and communication flow with and between stakeholders. To accomplish these goals, extensive research was conducted in the laboratory and in raspberry cultivations in Skåne, members of our collaboration at SLU, JBV, and Hushållningssällskapet (HIR Skåne) regularly organized and participated in berry grower meetings in Skåne, and contributions from the research conducted under this grant were disseminated at two international conferences. An extensive assessment of our research and communication with stakeholders within this project was conducted, which has led to further interactions with growers and advisors. This project has cemented our network of researchers, advisors and growers, working together to come up with economically and environmentally sustainable measures for monitoring and population control of SWD.