This is the first coordinated survey that will record and monitor Ambrosia artemisiifolia populations across the entire European continent. This will help to improve predictions of the future distribution and spread of the plant and assist in assessing the impact of management.
Distribution of common ragweed
Despite lots of local initiatives to map Ambrosia artemisiifolia, an accurate distribution map covering the entire European continent and neighbouring countries is lacking. Moreover, existing maps often do not include data on abundance and habitat type. Such data are needed to predict current and future spread in Europe, and would facilitate the evaluation of management measures.
SMARTER will record current populations of Ambrosia artemisiifolia to make a new distribution map that covers the entire European continent, includes different habitat types, and is more precise and complete than previous maps.
The first version of the iPhone application ‘The SMARTER Ambrosia Reporter’ will be available to report populations in early 2014 both for professionals and laymen. The exact launch date will be announced once known.
Population dynamics of common ragweed
In order to develop habitat- and climate-specific management measurements that reduce Ambrosia populations in the long term, we first need to understand the population dynamics in different environments. Therefore, we will measure how unmanaged ragweed populations develop and reproduce in different regions, with different climates and in different habitats. All data are collected in the SMARTER population dynamics database and form the basis for a population dynamics model. See the page of the Task Force Population Dynamics, a group of researchers throughout Europe that has joined forces to elaborate on this task.