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Université de Fribourg

In-season leaf damage by a biocontrol agent explains reproductive output of an invasive plant species

Augustinus, Benno A. ; Lommen, Suzanne T.E. ; Fogliatto, Silvia ; Vidotto, Francesco ; Smith, Tessa ; Horvath, David ; Bonini, Maira ; Gentili, Rodolfo F. ; Citterio, Sandra ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz ; Schaffner, Urs

In: NeoBiota, 2020, vol. 55, p. 117–146

One of the biggest challenges in classical biological control of invasive weeds is predicting the likelihood of success. Ambrosia artemisiifolia, a North American plant species that has become invasive in Europe, causes economic losses due to health problems resulting from its huge amount of highly allergenic pollen and as a weed to agricultural crops resulting from high seed densities. Here...

Université de Fribourg

Biological weed control to relieve millions from Ambrosia allergies in Europe

Schaffner, Urs ; Steinbach, Sandro ; Sun, Yan ; Skjøth, Carsten A. ; Weger, Letty A. de ; Lommen, Suzanne T. ; Augustinus, Benno A. ; Bonini, Maira ; Karrer, Gerhard ; Šikoparija, Branko ; Thibaudon, Michel ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz

In: Nature Communications, 2020, vol. 11, no. 1, p. 1745

Invasive alien species (IAS) can substantially affect ecosystem services and human well-being. However, quantitative assessments of their impact on human health are rare and the benefits of implementing IAS management likely to be underestimated. Here we report the effects of the allergenic plant Ambrosia artemisiifolia on public health in Europe and the potential impact of the accidentally...

Université de Fribourg

Predicting impact of a biocontrol agent: integrating distribution modeling with climate-dependent vital rates

Augustinus, Benno ; Sun, Yan ; Beuchat, Carine ; Schaffner, Urs ; Müller‐Schärer, Heinz

In: Ecological Applications, 2020, vol. 30, no. 1, p. e02003

Species distribution models can predict the suitable climatic range of a potential biological control agent (BCA), but they provide little information on the BCA's potential impact. To predict high population buildup, a prerequisite of biocontrol impact, studies are needed that assess the effect of environmental factors on vital rates of a BCA across the environmental gradient of the BCA's...

Université de Fribourg

Predicting abundances of invasive ragweed across Europe using a “top-down” approach

Skjøth, Carsten Ambelas ; Sun, Yan ; Karrer, Gerhard ; Sikoparija, Branko ; Smith, Matt ; Schaffner, Urs ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz

In: Science of The Total Environment, 2019, vol. 686, p. 212–222

Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) is a widely distributed and harmful invasive plant that is an important source of highly allergenic pollen grains and a 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...

Université de Fribourg

Estimating economic benefits of biological control of Ambrosia artemisiifolia by Ophraella communa in southeastern France

Mouttet, Raphaelle ; Augustinus, Benno ; Bonini, Maira ; Chauvel, Bruno ; Desneux, Nicolas ; Gachet, Emmanuel ; Le Bourgeois, Thomas ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz ; Thibaudon, Michel ; Schaffner, Urs

In: Basic and Applied Ecology, 2018, vol. 33, p. 14–24

The North American common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, which produces highly allergenic pollen, is invasive in different parts of the world, including Europe. In 2013, common ragweed in northern Italy was found attacked by another accidentally introduced species, the North American leaf beetle Ophraella communa, which is used for biological control of common ragweed in China. Since the...

Université de Fribourg

Cross-fertilizing weed science and plant invasion science to improve efficient management: A European challenge

Müller-Schärer, Heinz ; Sun, Yan ; Chauvel, Bruno ; Karrer, Gerhard ; Kazinczi, Gabriella ; Kudsk, P. ; Lansink Oud, A. G. J. M. ; Schaffner, Urs ; Skjoth, C. A. ; Smith, M. ; Vurro, M. ; de Weger, L. A. ; Lommen, Suzanne T. E.

In: Basic and Applied Ecology, 2018, vol. 33, p. 1–13

Both weed science and plant invasion science deal with noxious plants. Yet, they have historically developed as two distinct research areas in Europe, with different target species, approaches and management aims, as well as with diverging institutions and researchers involved. We argue that the strengths of these two disciplines can be highly complementary in implementing management...

Université de Fribourg

Biological invasion of oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) in North America: Pre-adaptation, post-introduction evolution, or both?

Stutz, Sonja ; Mráz, Patrik ; Hinz, Hariet L. ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz ; Schaffner, Urs

In: PLOS ONE, 2018, vol. 13, no. 1, p. e0190705

Species may become invasive after introduction to a new range because phenotypic traits pre-adapt them to spread and become dominant. In addition, adaptation to novel selection pressures in the introduced range may further increase their potential to become invasive. The diploid Leucanthemum vulgare and the tetraploid L. ircutianum are native to Eurasia and have been introduced to North...