Common ragweed: A threat to environmental health in Europe

Citation: Smith M., Cecchi L., Skjøth C.A., Karrer G., Šikoparija B. (2013) Common ragweed: A threat to environmental health in Europe. Environment International, 61: 115–126.

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Abstract: Common or short ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) is an annual herb belonging to the Asteraceae family that was described by Carl Linnaeus in the 18th century. It is a noxious invasive species that is an important weed in agriculture and a source of highly allergenic pollen. The importance placed on A. artemisiifolia is reflected by the number of international projects that have now been launched by the European Commission and the increasing number of publications being produced on this topic. This review paper examines existing knowledge about ragweed ecology, distribution and flowering phenology and the environmental health risk that this noxious plant poses in Europe. The paper also examines control measures used in the fight against it and state of the art methods for modelling atmospheric concentrations of this important aeroallergen.

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