University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Lessons Learnt From Ragweed and Birch Studies

Skjøth, C. ORCID:, Šikoparija, B. and Smith, Matt ORCID: (2014) Lessons Learnt From Ragweed and Birch Studies. In: 10th International Congress on Aerobiology, 22 - 26 September 2014, Cambelltown, Sydney, Australia.

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Here we review some of the most important aspects of recent work on Ragweed (Ambrosia) and birch (Betula) concerning: 1) sources, 2) trends & phenology and 3) dispersion and transformation.
Sources: At Northern latitudes the birch fraction in forests usually exceeds 50% of all broadleaved trees and the abundance of birch decreases with latitude from 5%-20% in many mid-latitude regions and down to 0%-2% in more southern areas. Birches are also commonly found in small woodlands or planted as ornamental trees in urban areas. Ragweeds are herbaceous weed species that are associated with areas of disturbance. Ragweed is native to North America, but considered an invasive species in Europe, Australia and China. In Europe, the four main centres are: The Pannonian Plain, Ukraine, The Po Valley (Italy) and the Rhone Valley (France).
Trends & Phenology: Birch pollen seasons have started earlier during the last decades. This trend appears have decreased during recent years despite increasing spring temperatures. Ragweed tends to experience less change in flowering date as ragweed flowering depends on photoperiod. Ragweed is increasing its distribution in Europe, but airborne concentrations of ragweed pollen are not universally increasing, e.g. due to control measures or pest attacks.
Dispersion & transformation: The beginning of the birch pollen season is often heralded by episodes of Long Distance Transport (LDT) from the south. Similar LDT episodes are intermittently seen for ragweed, which can reach as far north as Scandinavia. Humidity and air pollution can modify pollen grains during atmospheric transport. This can cause a change in allergenic potential of the pollen grain and is a direction for future research including the effect of co-exposure of air pollution and the transformation of aeroallergens.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Additional Information:

Originally deposited as National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit (NPARU)

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: ragweed, Ambrosia, birch, Betula, Long Distance Transport, (LDT), air pollution, aeroallergens
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Carsten Skjoth
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2014 09:40
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2020 09:35

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