International Society for Pest Information

Report of the 7th Meeting

Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI) für Pflanzenschutz in Obst- und Weinbau
Dossenheim, 27 August 2012

1. Welcome and introduction to the JKI institute Dossenheim

The meeting was opened by Jürgen Gross who also gave an overview of the JKI Institute in Dossenheim. A list of the participants of the meeting is attached as Annex I.

2. Designation of chairman and rapporteur for the meeting

Jürgen Gross served as chairman for the meeting and Olaf Zimmermann as rapporteur.

3. Adoption of the agenda

The provisional agenda, which corresponded to the numbered sections of this report was adopted.

4. Election of officers

A total of 8 ballots were completed by the attending members or had been submitted by other members by email. The election for the President and Vice-President produced the following results:

Jürgen Gross (6 votes)
Allan Deutsch (5 votes)
Olaf Zimmermann (4 votes)

After the results were counted Jürgen Gross withdrew his candidacy in favour of the other candidates. Thus, Allan Deutsch was elected as President and Olaf Zimmermann as Vice-President and both accepted their election. Jürgen Gross agreed to serve as Finance Officer. The meeting members expressed their gratitude to Jürgen Gross and Regina Sugayama for serving as President and Vice President of the Society during the last 3 years. The other Society Officers were elected as follows:

Executive Officer:
Bernhard Zelazny (7 votes)

Finance Committee:
Peter Ebling (7 votes)
Jürg Huber (7 votes)
Jürgen Gross (see above)

5. Report of ISPI activities since the last meeting, April 2010

Bernhard Zelazny reported on the activities of the Society between April 2010 and August 2012. The activities focused on the development of the "Pest Information Wiki" website ( as part of the Biowikifarm. During the development process the MediaWiki software turned out to be suitable for the MSAccess literature database of the Society and by August 2012, most publication records had been transferred to the wiki. Creating wiki pages for pests, diseases and weeds had also started. However, progress is slow because apart from the ISPI data, suitable photos are added if such photos are freely available, e.g. through Wikimedia Commons, IPM Images or PaDIL. Other components like pages for beneficials or crops are still under development.

Looking back, the decision during an ISPI meeting in Darmstadt in 2008 to select the MediaWiki system for the data of the Society was very fortunate. It saves considerable time and work. The help of Gregor Hagedorn, organizer of the Biowikifarm, in this development work was especially acknowledged and appreciated during the meeting. The official ISPI report for the period April 2010 and August 2012 is reproduced in Annex II and was adopted by the meeting.

6. Financial status and accounts for 2010 and 2011

Peter Ebling reported on the financial status of the Society and presented the ISPI accounts for the years 2010 and 2011. Since income from the sale of the ISPI database CD has stopped in 2010, the financial balance of the Society has declined from Euro 7,127 in the beginning of 2010 to 5,222 at the end of 2011. Possible other sources of income were discussed. The full financial report is reproduced in Annex III.

7. Discussion on possible changes of the ISPI articles

In view of few ISPI members volunteering their services for the executive and finance committees of the Society the following 2 changes to the articles of the Society were discussed:

Respective changes were formulated during the meeting and are reproduced in Annex IV. The changes will be proposed to all ISPI members before the next official meeting which will then also vote on the changes.

8. Project ideas and collaboration with IAPPS

The future of the "Pest Information Wiki" will depend on voluntary contributions from scientists and pest management professionals. Several scientists/professionals have already registered for editing and contributing to the Pestinfo Wiki. However, sofar the amount of contributions has been small and it has become clear that

Although, the wiki editing tools are very easy to learn, it is therefore necessary to give brief demonstrations on a computer to somebody together with letting the person try out the basic steps him/herself.

The best target audience would be the scientists of plant protection institutes like the JKI institutes and the demonstrations and practical introductions would be best organized as part of small projects. Two project ideas, specifically designed for collaboration with the JKI institutes, were discussed during the meeting and are reproduced in Annex V. The meeting agreed to pursue these 2 projects. Among the outstanding questions are which JKI institutes and which persons at the institutes would be interested in such projects and in collaborating with ISPI. In addition, possible funding organizations for the projects would need to be identified and approached.

ISPI has been contacted by Geoff Norton, the current president of the International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS) about possible collaboration in developing an international website to provide quick access to information and training resources in the field of plant protection. Basically, the IAPPS website would provide links (e.g. through RSS feeds) and searches for specific plant protection resources. ISPI has expressed interest in collaborating with IAPPS on this project and Dr. G. Gündermann (JKI Vice President and IAPPS Coordinator for Europe) and Dr. O. Hering (JKI Information Centre, Berlin) also expressed interest in this approach.

9. Current status of the Pest Information Wiki

Bernhard Zelazny explained and demonstrated the current status of the "Pest Information Wiki" with an on-line overhead system provided by the JKI institute. The official ISPI Report (Annex II) contains some additional details and figures on this topic. During the demonstration, the different components of the wiki were discussed with the meeting participants and a number of recommendations were made on their design. Important results of the discussions were:

10. Mini-workshop on improving the Pest Information Wiki

The mini-workshop involved practical work and testing on the "Pest Information Wiki" as well as further discussions on the different aspects of the wiki.

Jürgen Gross (Chairman)
Olaf Zimmermann (Rapporteur)

Annex I

7th ISPI meeting - participants

Members participating in the meeting:

Peter Ebling
Canadian Forest Service, Sault Ste Marie, Canada

Jürgen Gross
JKI Dossenheim, Germany

Bernhard Zelazny
Griesheim, Germany (retired)

Olaf Zimmermann
AMW Nützlinge, Pfungstadt, Germany

Members participating in the election by e-mail, but who were not attending the meeting:

Gregor Hagedorn
Olaf Hering
Regina Kleespies
Stefan Vidal

Annex II

7th ISPI meeting
Summary Report on the Society Activities
between April 2010 and August 2012

Since the last ISPI membership meeting in April 2010, the activities of the Society have focused on developing the "Pest Information Wiki" website ( and on importing data into this site. The Pestinfo Wiki is hosted by the Biowikifarm, an assemblage of different wikis which is maintained by Gregor Hagedorn (JKI-ÖPV Berlin). The Biowikifarm has been created as part of the JKI contribution to the EU projects KeyToNature and ViBRANT. It is located at the BGBM (Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum), a part of the Free University, Berlin. ISPI is grateful to Gregor Hagedorn, for his efforts devoted to the Biowikifarm and his help in developing the Pestinfo Wiki.

The following progress has been made for the "Pest Information Wiki":

  1. Literature database:
  2. A form for entering articles, adaptable to different journal formats, was developed and tested. Until August 2012, about 107,000 literature records (approx. 80% of all ISPI records) have been imported from the ISPI MS-Access database. The literature records are ordered by journals (see and contain all the relevant data needed to retrieve specific combinations of relevant pests - research topics - countries - crops and beneficials.
  3. Pests, diseases and weeds: Pages for pests, diseases and weeds contain taxonomic information, links to literature queries, and often a short descriptive text. In addition to the old ISPI data, photos are often included, showing characteristic features or damage, e.g. see The photos are either part of the Wikimedia Commons archives or have been published under the Creative Commons license by other projects, like IPM Images or PaDIL. Until Aug. 2012, about 1,300 pages have been created for pests, diseases and weeds (approx. 9% of the total ISPI records).
  4. Other components: There is still some development work needed to develop the other components, e.g. pages for beneficials, crops or countries.

In general, it has been very helpful to choose the wiki software for the new ISPI website and to establish a collaboration with the Biowikifarm. The MediaWiki and Semantic MediaWiki (for database features) softwares are being constantly improved by a group of experts around the world and the experience with this software has been quite positive. The software is designed to make it easy for users to create and edit pages. The basic editing tools can be learned quickly. Queries from the database can be rather slow if large amounts of data are processed, but this is usually overcome by the cache system of the wiki.

Although the Pestinfo Wiki is still "under construction" it is already visited frequently and the average number of visitors has almost reached 10,000 per month. Most visitors come from the U.S.A., followed by Germany, India, Brazil, Italy, U.K., China and France. Several scientists have also registered for editing the wiki, but their contributions have so far been small. It appears that users are reluctant to spent time with learning even simple procedures for entering and formatting text and data. More important contributions have been a number of high resolution images of pests and beneficials, provided by authors on request.

It is expected that it will still take a number of years before the data transfer to the wiki is complete and before the missing components, like queries for specific beneficials, crops and countries are developed. However, the site is already usable and the standard wiki search function will almost always produce some results because of the large amount of literature records already entered. For the future, the following activities should be given priority:

Annex III

7th ISPI meeting
Financial Summary for 2010 and 2011

Financial Committee Members:
Jürg Huber
JKI Darmstadt, Germany

Olaf Zimmermann
AWM Pfungstadt, Germany

Peter Ebling
Canadian Forest Service, Sault Ste Marie, Canada

In January of each year, our Executive Officer (Bernard Zelazny) is very prompt in submitting ISPI’s financial records to the Financial Committee for review. All 3 members review the itemized records and sign the German version of the summary for the District Office for Societies (Vereinsregister, Amtsgericht Darmstadt). One member of the committee obtains and reviews the actual invoices, receipts and bank statements and compares them against the records provided by our Executive Officer. This was performed by Olaf Zimmermann for the 2010 records and by Jürg Huber for the 2011 records.

Summaries of the society’s 2010 and 2011 financial records are attached. We had an opening balance of Euro 7,127.11 in 2010 and a closing balance of Euro 6,049.86. Our largest single expenditure was for software development (relating to our conversion to Wiki) in the amount of Euro 985.46, even though the Financial Committee had allocated up to Euro 2000. In 2011, we had an opening balance of Euro 6,049.86 and a closing balance of Euro 5,222.23. Our largest single expenditure was for the purchase of a new computer which was pre-authorized by the Financial Committee. Income for the society has predominately been derived from sales of CDs. This has dropped from Euro 1,761.31 in 2009, to 328.85 in 2010, and 0 in 2011. The society will need to look at alternate sources of income to cover expenses in the coming years.

Accounts for 2010 (currency Euro)




Opening balance, 1st January 2010



Income from sale of 8 CDs



Software consultancies



Server and email charges



Postage, telephone, bank charges



Other expenses






Balance as of 31st Dec. 2010



Accounts for 2011 (currency Euro)




Opening balance, 1st January 2011



Donation by AMW Nützlinge



Costs for internet page and e-mail account



Postage, telephone, bank charges



New Computer



Other expenses






Balance as of 31st Dec. 2011



Annex IV

7th ISPI meeting
Proposed changes of the ISPI articles

Proposed changes are marked in bold:

  1. Size of the Finance Committee
  2. 11. The Finance Committee consists of at least three two and not more than five three members, who are not members of the Executive Committee. It verifies that the expenditures of the Society are in accordance with its aims and prepares a report to the Society members for each calendar year.

  3. Election of the Executive Committee

16a. During the election of the Executive Committee the President and Vice-President are elected together and each society member has two one votes for both of them. The highest number of votes will elect the President and the 2nd highest number the Vice-President. The person receiving the highest number of votes will be elected as President and the person receiving the 2nd highest number of votes will be elected as Vice-President. Should both receive the same number of votes than the members present during the meeting will elect the President in a second ballot.

Annex V

7th ISPI meeting
Project ideas

1. Quarantine Information and Identification Network

The risks for new introductions of exotic pests, diseases and weeds are growing with the continuous increase in international trade and travel. Often it is difficult for plant protection experts to recognize a suspected invader without the help of specialized taxonomists and to obtain sufficient information on species of quarantine importance.

To establish a collaborative network of plant protection scientists/professionals and taxonomists who will develop and maintain an on-line information and identification system for pests, diseases and weeds of quarantine importance.

On-line structures:
The on-line system will be part of the biowikifarm ( General information (including publication lists) will be included in the Pest Information Wiki (, English identification keys will be included in Species-ID ( and German keys in Offene Naturführer ( Other components of the Biowikifarm can be also included.

Project participants:

Project activities:

Examples of output components:
For an example of a possible format for a quarantine pest, see

For an example of a possible format for an identification key see


2. Projektvorschlag „Medienarchiv Pflanzenschutz"

Als Teil der wissenschaftlichen Tätigkeiten der JKI Institute werden und wurden häufig Fotos und andere Medien im Bereich Pflanzenschutz angefertigt. Zur Zeit werden diese Medien in Form von EM-Fotos, Diapositiven und elektronischen Medien meist nur auf Institutsebene gesammelt und sind dann anderen JKI Instituten und anderen relevanten Einrichtungen wie Universitäten, Landesanstalten und Pflanzenschutzämtern nicht zugänglich. Diese Medien sind besonders wertvoll, da sie von Experten angefertigt wurden und es gibt meist keine Zweifel an der Bestimmung der dargestellten Schädlinge oder Krankheiten.

Entwicklung eines öffentlichen Medienarchivs für den Bereich Pflanzenschutz, als Teil der Biowikifarm, das anderen Experten zur Verfügung steht und in dem Medien für Schädlinge, Krankheiten, Unkräuter und Nützlinge taxonomisch und übersichtlich geordnet und leicht auffindbar sind.

Projekt Komponenten
Die MediaWiki Software ist eine bekannte und ausgereifte Internetanwendung, die ständig von einer Gruppe von Software Experten weiterentwickelt wird. Die Software ist frei erhältlich, flexibel und läßt sich leicht an spezielle Anforderungen anpassen. Die Biowikifarm basiert auf die MediaWiki Software und wurde im Rahmen der JKI-Beteiligung an den EU Projekten KeyToNature und ViBRANT aufgebaut. Die folgenden, existierenden Strukturen der Biowikifarm können zur Entwicklung eines speziellen Medienarchivs für den Pflanzenschutz genutzt werden:

Bilder und andere Medien, die in Open Media (oder Wikimedia Commons) gespeichert sind, können an anderen Stellen der Biowikifarm (mit den Standard MediaWiki Formaten) in sehr einfache Weise direkt in Texte eingebunden werden.