University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Predicting Abundances of Invasive Ragweed Across Europe Using a “Top-down” Approach

Skjøth, C. ORCID:, Sun, Y., Karrer, G., Sikoparija, B., Smith, Matt ORCID:, Schaffner, U. and Müller-Schärer, H. (2019) Predicting Abundances of Invasive Ragweed Across Europe Using a “Top-down” Approach. Science of the Total Environment, 686. pp. 212-222. ISSN Print: 0048-9697 Online: 1879-1026

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Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) is a widely distributed and harmful invasive plant that is an important source of highly allergenic pollen grains and prominent crop weed. As a result, ragweed causes huge costs to both human health and agriculture in affected areas. Efficient mitigation requires accurate mapping of ragweed densities that, until now, has not been achieved accurately for the whole of Europe. Here we provide two inventories of common ragweed abundances with grid resolutions of 1 km and 10 km. These “top-down” inventories integrate pollen data from 349 stations in Europe with habitat and landscape management information, derived from land cover data and expert knowledge. This allows us to cover areas where surface observations are missing. Model results were validated using “bottom–up” data of common ragweed in Austria and Serbia. Results show high agreement between the two analytical methods. The inventory shows that areas with the lowest ragweed abundances are found in Northern and Southern European countries and the highest abundances are in parts of Russia, parts of Ukraine and the Pannonian Plain. Smaller hotspots are found in Northern Italy, the Rhône Valley in France and in Turkey. The top-down approach is based on a new approach that allows for cross continental studies and is applicable to other anemophilous species. Due to its simplicity, it can be used to investigate such species that are difficult and costly to identify at larger scales using traditional vegetation surveys or remote sensing. The final inventory is open source and available as a georeferenced tif file, allowing for multiple usages, reducing costs for health services and agriculture through well-targeted management interventions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Elsevier B.V. in the Science of the Total Environment. © 2019 Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International.

Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text of the published version via the UW online library search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: pollen, ambrosia artemisiifolia, inventory, biogeography, open-access
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
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Depositing User: Carsten Skjoth
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2019 14:03
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2020 14:53

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