The SMARTER Taxonomy Group produced a brochure on the identification of 6 ragweed species in Europe for scientists, stakeholders and the general public. It contains pictures of plants, leaves, and seeds and an up-to-date overview of their biological characteristics.
The COST SMARTER Dissemination Meeting “Ragweed management and the potential benefit and risk of Ophraella communa in Northern Italy – Researchers meet their Stakeholders” was held on 28th of October 2016, in Rho (Milan). About 100 people, including representatives from Local Authorities and Municipalities, Health Regional Authorities and the Italian National Television, attended the morning meeting. About 40 people participated on the guided visit to the experimental fields in Magnago during the afternoon.
The final synthesis meeting took place at the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden on October 31-November1, 2016. The meeting was attended by thirteen SMARTER members, mainly form the core group. They shared the latest results and discussed how to link the datasets generated during the project for final publications. Furthermore the SMARTER project was evaluated by naming positive and negative aspects. Finally, input was given for the drafting the final report.
Specialists in Ambrosia taxonomy and genetics met at Cagliari, Sardinia (3-4.10.2016), to discuss closure for ongoing collaborative projects and to plan future collaborations.
On the first day the group tried to verify Sardinian populations of Ambrosia and found to their surprise the last 2 individuals of Ambrosia maritima, a taxon that is said to be the only native taxon of the genus in the Old World.
During the workshop on the second day, the specialists provided mostly new (and unpublished) information on the state of the art in their respective fields. Improved identification tools were brought to an almost finished state, and future collaborations beyong the SMARTER Action were arranged.
A final synthesis meeting for COST SMARTER will be held at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) 31 October – 2 November 2016.
The meeting aims to bring together key players (leaders of the various WGs and TFs) of COST SMARTER to further advance our achievements by discussing synthesis publications on the topics listed below:
(i) linking aerobiology to ecology to monitor ragweed (all species) abundances and distribution throughout Europe
(ii) impact of management (cutting, competitive vegetation, biocontrol) on ragweed performance, population dynamics and spread, and on aerial pollen
(iii) linking the biology of Ophraella to the impact on plant performance, population dynamics, pollen release, aerial pollen concentration and public health economics
(iv) evaluation of management success (continue discussion of Lyon and Vianden)
(v) guidelines on best practices (habitat- and region specific)
(vi) relationships between pollen in the air and public health
(vii) final agreements on the website