by Gianluigi Cardone 1, Michele Digiaro 1, Khaled Djelouah 1, Michel Frem 1,2,3,*, Cosimo Rota 1, Alessia Lenders 4 and Vincenzo Fucilli 3

1 Mediterranean Agronomic Institute, CIHEAM BARI, Via Ceglie 9, Valenzano, 70010 Bari, Italy

2 Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute, El Roumieh Zone, Qleiat, Keserwan, Lebanon

3 Department of Agro-Environmental and Territorial Sciences, University of Bari—Aldo Moro, Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy

4 Sustainable Land Management, SLM Partners Ltd., Eardley House 182–184 Campden Hill Road, London W8 7AS, UK

  • Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Diversity2022, 14(11), 975;

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Studies of Invasion Ecology in the Mediterranean Basin)


Xylella fastidiosa (Wells 1987, hereafter Xf), the causal agent of several devastating plant diseases, is threatening new countries of the Euro-Mediterranean, Balkans, Middle East, and North Africa (MENA) regions. In this perspective, a study was carried out to: (a) explore the potential establishment and spread and losses caused by Xf in Euro-Mediterranean countries (i.e., France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain) and the Balkans (i.e., Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia); (b) assess the potential introduction of Xf in the MENA countries (i.e., Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey); and (c) project the socio-economic impacts of Xf on olives, grapes, citrus, and almonds in these countries. A novel socio-economic risk assessment technique was developed and applied for these purposes. It revealed that Albania had the highest risk for Xf dispersal. In addition, the risk assessment also confirmed the vulnerability of Euro-Mediterranean countries in terms of Xf dispersal. In the MENA and Balkans regions, countries with fragmented and small farms are likely to face the worst social impacts, whereas the Euro-Mediterranean region runs the highest economic losses on the target crops.

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