2014/02 SMARTER Working Group 4 meeting Barcelona

Representatives of Working Group 4 gathered at Autonoma University in Barcelona on the 14 February 2014 to strengthen the collaboration between disciplines in SMARTER. Participants present in Barcelona were:  Alfons Oude Lansink, Jordina Belmonte, Letty de Weger, Maira Bonini, Francesca Natali, Mrs Gonzales (UAB), and Susan van der Giessen. Furthermore, Alessandro Bonanno, Antoine Guisan, Marion Seier and Baruch Rubin attended the meeting through Skype. A conceptual model for Ambrosia management evaluation was presented and the potential for establishing a joint research program based on this conceptual framework was discussed. Furthermore, the attendants exchanged ideas on the potential for establishing a training network for Early Stage Researchers.

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Germination and seedling frost tolerance differ between the native and invasive range in common ragweed

Citation: Leiblein-Wild, M. C., Kaviani, R., Tackenberg, O. (2014) Germination and seedling frost tolerance differ between the native and invasive range in common ragweed. Oecologia , 174 (3): 739 – 750

Springer Link Open Access

Abstract: Germination characteristics and frost tolerance of seedlings are crucial parameters for establishment and invasion success of plants. The characterization of differences between populations in native and invasive ranges may improve our understanding of range expansion and adaptation. Here, we investigated germination characteristics of Ambrosia artemisiifolia L., a successful invader in Europe, under a temperature gradient between 5 and 25 °C.

Herbarium specimens reveal a historical shift in phylogeographic structure of common ragweed during native range disturbance

Citation: Martin, M. D., Zimmer, E. A., Olsen, M. T., Foote, A. D., Gilbert, M. T. P. and Brush, G. S. (2014), Herbarium specimens reveal a historical shift in phylogeographic structure of common ragweed during native range disturbance. Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/mec.12675

Wiley Online Library

 Abstract: Towards a direct comparison of genetic structure now and during intense anthropogenic disturbance of the late 19th century, we sampled 45 natural populations of common ragweed across its native range as well as historical herbarium specimens collected up to 140 years ago. Bayesian clustering analyses of 453 modern and 473 historical samples genotyped at three chloroplast spacer regions and six nuclear microsatellite loci reveal that historical ragweed’s spatial genetic structure mirrors both the palaeo-record of Ambrosia pollen deposition and the historical pattern of agricultural density across the landscape. Furthermore, for unknown reasons, this spatial genetic pattern has changed substantially in the intervening years. Following on previous work relating morphology and genetic expression between plants collected from eastern North America and Western Europe, we speculate that the cluster associated with humans’ rapid transformation of the landscape is a likely source of these aggressive invasive populations.

2013/11 SMARTER Ambrosia survey meeting with experts and stakeholders of NL

Dutch scientists and stakeholders discussed how to involve citizen scientists and patients in Ambrosia research. In the winter of 2013, representatives of SMARTER met in the Netherlands with local experts on Ambrosia management, allergenic pollen, and communication to discuss how to involve laymen in SMARTER scientific research on ragweed.

The outcomes:

Informatiesheet SMARTER onderzoek-              Floron (the Dutch organisation for public involvement in vegetation research in the Netherlands) sees potential in involving volunteers in the SMARTER Ambrosia survey (both recording distribution and monitoring populations). A recruitment campaign was designed.  Download the flyer of the campaign here.

-              A team of Dutch professionals will think about the distribution of the SMARTER Ambrosia Reporter App. A stakeholder meeting will be organised in the ragweed season.

-              The participants found a common interest to establish collaborations, by linking data from ragweed distribution, pollen stations, and patients diaries on hayfever symptoms, and medical  reports from hospitals.