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Ambrosia pollen

Ambrosia and it’s pollen grains.
Photo: Christian Bohren (CH).

Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Asteraceae), originating from North America, is one of the most prominent invasive alien species in Europe. Its pollen grains are carriers of noxious allergens that may induce severe symptoms in sensitised people. It is also an important agricultural weed with a range that is likely to increase under climate change. Therefore, long-term, sustainable and widely applicable management is required. The coordination of institutions involved in Ambrosia research will help implement management strategies throughout Europe.

SMARTER (2013-2017) is an interdisciplinary network of experts currently involved in the control of ragweed, health care professionals, aerobiologists, ecologists, economists, and atmospheric and agricultural modellers. More than 120 participants from 33 countries are already participating in SMARTER.

SMARTER provides a forum for discussing long-term management and monitoring options and the development of new innovative management solutions, such as a synergy between biological, physical and chemical control measures and vegetation management, and assess their cost-effectiveness in mitigating the effects of invasive alien species.

Official COST documents:

SMARTER participants work in 6 different areas:

  1. Population dynamics and biological control (WG 1)
  2. Vegetation management (WG 2)
  3. Integration of management options (WG 3)
  4. Management evaluation (WG 4)
  5. Training, knowledge and technology transfer (Task 5)
  6. Policy support (Task 6)