Sustainable management of Ambrosia artemisiifolia in Europe (SMARTER)

Name: Sustainable management of Ambrosia artemisiifolia in Europe (SMARTER)
Researchers: Moravcová Lenka (member of of research group)
Pyšek Petr (member of of research group)
Skálová Hana (head of research group)
Project Type: A - major international projects (at least 3 states)
Realization from: 2012
Realization to: 2017
Summary: Capitalizing on the extensive information available on the characteristics and performance of the study species, this COST action will formulate habitat- and site-specific management goals, define taxonomic, genetic, biological and physiological properties of the biocontrol agents, identify the best procedures to obtain an effective application, establish protocols for assessing impact prior to the release of the biocontrol agents, and design post-release monitoring studies to assess impact and non-target effects of the agents. We will also concentrate on measures to reduce the establishment and fast spread of Ambrosia along dissemination pathways that also act as entry ports for invading adjacent cropland and semi- natural habitats. Adequate measures will focus on establishing and managing a competitive vegetation cover both by sowing specific seed mixtures for revegetation to increase biotic resistance, and on developing specific management regimes to prevent the production of fertile seeds. Besides synthesis of previous and ongoing experiments aiming at Ambrosia control by vegetation management we plan field observation of the performance and spread of the species in sites with different management practices and local conditions. Available life cycle data will be further ascertained and extended to, and recorded in specific habitats and experimental conditions to construct specific Ambrosia population models. The effort is to produce guidelines for the introduction of biological control agents in Europe and organization of an inception workshop to inform and consult European stakeholders regarding the bio control project against Ambrosia. Participation of students including their attendance in Summer School as well as in the research activities, and publication of the results in scientific papers is expected.

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