The French Observatory of ragweeds has produced a 14-minutes-video on the issue of Ambrosia artemisiifolia for the general public, filmed during the summer of 2014 in France. Although made in France, this is a great movie showing many aspects of the ragweed problem, from biology to policy, including impressive images of endless ragweed fields!
We highly recommend it to everyone interested in ragweed.
The films are now on Youtube in French and with English subtitles (see below).
On 30 March 2015, the second meeting of the Task Force Population Dynamics was kindly hosted by the BOKU University (Vienna, Austria). The Task force has grown to 26 teams monitoring the demography of ragweed populations according to our standardized protocols from France to Armenia, in all important habitats of Ambrosia. Over 20 team captains were represented at the meeting, and had the premiere to wear the freshly produced SMARTER shirts.
All presented their sites, and their experiences with monitoring in 2014. Three researchers presented a first analysis of the joint demographic data set from all these populations: Suzanne Lommen on the plant performance, Melinda Leitsch-Vitalos on the soil seed bank, and Caspar Hallmann on a demographical model using such data. The Task Force then agreed on some modifications of the protocol, and finally created a roadmap on how to include new participants and regions that are still missing to cover the entire European continent.
Conclusion: we are ready to attack a new field season!
Citation: Karrer, G., Skjøth, C.A., Šikoparija, B., Smith, M., Berger, U., Essl, F. (2015) Ragweed (Ambrosia) pollen source inventory for Austria. Science of The Total Environment, 523, 120–128
Link to article on ScienceDirect
Abstract: This study improves the spatial coverage of top-down Ambrosia pollen source inventories for Europe by expanding the methodology to Austria, a country that is challenging in terms of topography and the distribution of ragweed plants. The inventory combines annual ragweed pollen counts from 19 pollen-monitoring stations in Austria (2004–2013), 657 geographical observations of Ambrosia plants, a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), local knowledge of ragweed ecology and CORINE land cover information from the source area. The highest mean annual ragweed pollen concentrations were generally recorded in the East of Austria where the highest densities of possible growth habitats for Ambrosia were situated. Approximately 99% of all observations of Ambrosia populations were below 745 m. The European infection level varies from 0.1% at Freistadt in Northern Austria to 12.8% at Rosalia in Eastern Austria. More top-down Ambrosia pollen source inventories are required for other parts of Europe.
COST SMARTER is offering individual grants of € 800 for participation in aerobiology training Schools with special emphasis on ragweed. The 12th European Course on Basic Aerobiology will be held on the 20-26 July 2015 at the Faculty of Biology and Agriculture of the University of Rzeszów in southeastern Poland, and the 8th Advanced Aerobiology Course will be held on the 16-22 August 2015 at the Šiauliai University, Šiauliai, Lithuania.
More information is contained in the attached pdfs:
Training School_2015_Basic Aerobiology Course
Training School_2015_Advanced Aerobiology Course
In brief, applicants must submit the following:
1. CV outlining the applicant’s qualifications and current course
of study or employment (one page maximum)
2. A statement showing how the course will help the participant
contribute to the improvement of the COST network and how the
participant can take part to the activities of the SMARTER Action,
bearing in mind that one of the final goals of the Action is to create
a permanent network against ragweed (maximum 150 words)
3. The supporting statement signed by the applicant’s supervisor or
employer (maximum 150 words)
Note that reimbursement will only be given after the course has been
completed and after the following have been completed: (1) receipt of
the official record of attendance; (2) confirmation by the course
organiser; (3) presentation of a short report from each attendee.
Deadlines for applications are detailed in the attached call.
Participants will need to submit a scientific report to the Host
Institution within 30 days from the end date of the course.
Priority for grants will be given to PhD students and Early Stage
A prototype of the new SMARTER Polo Shirt has been realized by Peter Tóth and will be available for the network members thus augmenting the visibility of our COST Action.