Michel Thibaudon1, Roberto Albertini2, Maira Bonini3, Sevcan Celenk4, Sandra Citterio5, Lazlo Makra6, Gilles Oliver7, Olivier Pechamat8 and Uwe Starfinger9
1IRS President, RNSA, Brussieu, France
2Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Italy
3Department of Hygiene and Health Prevention, Agenzia di Tutela della Salute della Città Metropolitana di Milano, Italy
4Uludag University, Department of Biology, Aerobiology Laboratory, Bursa, Turkey
5University of Milano – Bicocca, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Milan, Italy
6Institute of Economics and Rural Development, University of Szeged, Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary
7RNSA, Brussieu, France
8FREDON France, Paris, France
9Julius Kuehn Institute, Braunschweig, Germany
One of the main causes of pollen allergy and pollen related asthma during the late summer in North America and Central Europe is ragweed (Ambrosia L.), a widespread monoecious genus in the Asteraceae. In Europe short or common ragweed (A. artemisiifolia L.) is the prevalent species of the genus. Ragweed pollen can be transported by wind over long distances (i.e. several hundreds or thousands of kilometers) and may cause allergy symptoms also in areas where the plant is not widespread. Ragweed has an enormous invasive potential through the production of large quantities of seeds with very high germination capacity. The weed damage in agriculture and potential effects on biodiversity add up to a huge negative impact. In Europe, short or common ragweed (A. artemisiifolia L.) is prevalent.
Actually, ragweed has a higher spread potential than most indigenous annual dicotyledonous and grass weed species in Central Europe. This situation requires regular monitoring of the plant and the implementation of an accurate control strategy involving not only farmers but also the staff managing natural areas, roadsides, building, municipalities and health authorities. Unfortunately, in many countries, the legal situation is far from sufficient to monitor and manage the spread of ragweed. It is therefore important that the public is aware of the plant and the problems caused by it.
The main topic of the IRS is to gather work from all over the world about phenology, pollen monitoring and management of Ambrosia in different places. IRS organizes a dedicated international congress in Europe every 4 or 5 years where researchers can present state of the art work on Ambrosia related knowledge to propose targeted preventive measures.
Karrer G., Starfinger U., Kazinczi G., Kudsk P., Simoncic A., Milakovic I., Sölter U., Verschwele A., Mathiassen S., Basky Z., Kömives T. & Leskovsek R. (2014) Recommendations to fight ragweed derived from the EU-project HALT AMBROSIA. In: Fried G. et al. (eds), 4th International Symposium on Environmental Weeds and lnvasive Plants in Montpellier. Abstracts. May 19 to 23, 2014, p. 167, Montpellier SupAgro, Montpellier, France.
Sölter U., Starfinger U. & Verschwele A. (eds) (2016) HALT Ambrosia – final report and general publication of project findings. Julius-Kühn-Archiv Vol. 2016, No. 455.
Starfinger U. (2009) Can the general public help fight the invasion of an undesired plant invader? The case of Ambrosia artemisiifolia. In: Pyšek P. & Pergl J. (eds), Biological invasions: towards a synthesis. NeoBiota 8: 217–225.