SMARTER Conference & Workshop: “Invasive plants management success & regulation”

The SMARTER Conference & Workshop entitled “Invasive plants management success & regulation”  brought together participants of the SMARTER network who work on invasive species management with stakeholders and external experts.

Program & Outline (PDF)

The meeting took place at the COST Office on the 21-22 January 2015. The aim of the meeting was to progress the discussion on the regulation of biocontrol agents of invasive plants in Europe in general (Workshop 1) and to define success of Ambrosia management for Europe (Workshop 2). The Conference formed the introduction to the workshops by sketching the current problems in management and regulation. The Conference and Workshops form one event and, although participants might initially have been specifically invited for one Workshop, they were free to attend both Workshops.

Stakeholders meeting ... Photo: Peter Tóth.

Regulations of classical biological control in North America: Presentation by Peter Mason, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, at the SMARTER Conference and workshop on 21 January 2015 at COST office in Brussels. Photo: Peter Tóth.

SMARTER Conference & Workshop

SMARTER Management Committee meeting

The SMARTER Management Committee meeting was held at the COST Office on 21 January 2015. The meeting included updates on SMARTER from the Action Chair (Heinz Müller-Schärer) and Grant Holder of the Action (Ioanna Stavridou) as well as planning the important final budget and discussing potential locations and dates of future activities.

SMARTER Management Committee meeting

SMARTER Management Committee meeting. Photo by Peter Tóth.

SMARTER Management Committee meeting

SMARTER Management Committee meeting. Photo by Peter Tóth.

SMARTER Core Group meeting

The Core Group meeting took place on the 20 January 2015 at the COST Office in Brussels. The meeting commenced with an overview of the Action’s status from the Chair, Heinz Müller-Schärer, and an update from the Grant Holder, Ioanna Stavridou (COST Office). The Working Group and Task Force leaders also discussed the Objectives and Scientific Planning (past, present, and future) of their respective groups in relation to the memorandum of understanding.

The SMARTER Core Group meeting on the afternoon of January 20th 2015 at COST office in Brussels.

The SMARTER Core Group meeting on the afternoon of January 20th 2015 at the COST office in Brussels. Photo by Christian Ries.

 

SMARTER Task Force Northern Countries meeting, COST Office in Brussels, 20 January 2015

The Task Force Northern Countries meeting was organised by Carsten Skjoth from the University of Worcester, and took place on the 20 January 2015 before the start of the SMARTER Core Group and Management Committee meetings that were held at the COST Office in Brussels.

The objective of the Task Force meeting was to identify sustainable, substantial and long term collaboration among the Northern countries, in particular the North Sea Region. The North Sea region was selected because it is the major geographical risk area (in relation to population exposure) that has not yet been invaded by ragweed but has the potential to be invaded.

SMARTER Brussels 20150120_01

Meeting of the “Task Force Northern Countries”. Photo by Christian Ries.

Carsten

Carsten Skjoth, University of Worcester, co-ordinator of the “Task Force Northern Countries”. Photos by Christian Ries.

Fine-tuning of a mowing regime, a method for the management of the invasive plant, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, at different population densities

Citation: Milakovic, I., Fiedler, K., Karrer, G. (2014) Fine-tuning of a mowing regime, a method for the management of the invasive plant, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, at different population densities. Weed Biology and Management14 ( 4 ) pp. 232 – 241

Wiley Online Library

Abstract: Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) is an invasive annual plant with highly allergenic pollen. Its spread in introduced and native ranges often occurs on roadsides, where it builds stable and rapidly growing populations. The most sustainable way of controlling the population size of this species is to prevent seed production in order to deplete the soil seed bank. Populations on roadsides are submitted to regular mowing management, which can even exacerbate the situation by inducing resprouting after cutting or by accidentally spreading seeds along the road. The population density in the juvenile stages of development could play an important role in the success of cutting regimes, as it might influence the resprouting capacity of this plant. The influence of the juvenile population density and of seven cutting regimes, differing in the timing and frequency of cuts, on easily measurable reproductive traits was investigated in a glasshouse experiment. The cutting regimes had a strong influence on the reproductive success and on the phenology of the development stages of ragweed. The population density in the juvenile stages did not play a role in further phenological development, but did influence the reproductive traits. The reproduction of ragweed can be lowered by locally adapted combinations of the timing and frequency of mowing. As the optimal management option for the reduction of both the male and female flowers, the authors suggest a first cut just before the start of male flowering, followed by subsequent cuts every 3–4 weeks.