25 January 2015 | Online since 2003



26 February 2014|Arable,Cereal,Crops,News

Modeling predicts spread of invasive allergenic ragweed


Rothamsted Research scientists in collaboration with a EU consortium developed a model to predict the shift in distribution of ragweed in Northern latitudes in response to climate change.

Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) is a native plant of North America that is spreading rapidly through Europe primarily through contaminated crop seed. The current identified centres of distribution are in Hungary and the Rhône valley in France.

Ragweed (not to be confused with ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)) is a serious weed of some crops and also has highly allergenic pollen with late flowering that extends the hayfever season. Rothamsted Research scientists, who receive strategic funding from the BBSRC, have been part of a large interdisciplinary Fp7 European project, ATOPICA, focusing on the spread and impacts of ragweed pollen. The scientists developed a computer model to predict the shift in distribution of ragweed into more Northern latitudes in response to climate change. The results are published in the online Journal, PlosONE.

Dr Jonathan Storkey, Rothamsted Research lead scientist for this study said: “The spread of ragweed is an ongoing invasion event and our results suggest that the species is yet to fill the available climatic niche space under current conditions. For example the climate in the south of the UK is predicted to be suitable for ragweed populations to persist. However, the spread and establishment of the species in new areas relies on appropriate land use, specifically the cultivation of crops such as maize and sunflower, therefore, opportunities for it to spread into new areas may currently be limited by management factors as opposed to climatic tolerances”.

“Anticipating future spread in response to changes in climate or land use will, therefore, be important for mitigating potential impacts on human health and crop production”, Jonathan Storkey added.

When future climate scenarios were used, the southern European limit of ragweed was predicted to remain relatively constant as it is limited by water availability. However, the increased temperatures projected for northern European regions, including countries such as the UK and Denmark, resulted in an increase in the available niche space and productivity of the species in more Northern latitudes.

Dr Semenov, Rothamsted Research said: “Whether or not ragweed will have serious impacts in the future in the UK will be determined by cropping patterns and the level of control; however, on the basis of our results ongoing surveillance and research on existing ragweed patches in the UK is recommended”.

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


9 January 2015
PRIVATE CLIENT SOLICITOR
As a commercial practice with a strong focus on agriculture and rural estates, the food sector and commercial property....

6 January 2015
Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)
We are currently recruiting for a Lifeguard (Recreation Assistant) at Church Farm Leisure Centre, based within the London Bor...

5 January 2015
Infrastructure Manager
Citrix Farm upgrade and installation. A new position has been created within an established organisation based in Rochdale......

15 January 2015
Agronomist - East of Scotland
Candidates will ideally have experience in one of agribusiness, agronomy, farmer liaison, farm management, trials, research o...

21 January 2015
Interim Shift Manager
My client is looking for a Production Shift Manager with strong management skills and bottling or dairy experience to join th...




Top stories you may have missed
12 November 2014 | Arable
GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops are good for the economy and can reduce the amount of pesticides u...


6 November 2014 | Cattle
Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Demand from smaller European markets has helped drive strong growth for UK ...


6 November 2014 | Agri Safety
Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

A lack of engineers, not enough people promoting the land-based industries ...


4 November 2014 | Bees and Beekeeping
Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss is launching the National Pollinator ...


4 November 2014 | Arable
Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Agricultural specialists have welcomed a potential financial boost for youn...


3 November 2014 | News
Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

As retailers continue to participate in a highly competitive race to the bo...


31 October 2014 | Arable
New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New farm business income data from Defra, which focus on income from March ...


30 October 2014 | Agri Safety
Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture has remained one of the industries in which workers are most li...


29 October 2014 | Finance
UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

Prime arable land in the UK has seen a substantial year-on-year growth in p...


27 October 2014 | Arable
Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

A new mobile app for farmers able to pinpoint and identify disease, pests a...