Estimation of pollen and seed production of common ragweed in France.
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UMR 1210 Biologie et Gestion des Adventices, INRA, ENESAD, UB, 17 rue Sully - BP 86510, 21000 Dijon, France;
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2007;14(2):233–236
Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) is an invasive weed of field crops and human-disturbed habitats in Europe. As well as in its natural range (North America), common ragweed is a threat to human health due to its abundant allergenic pollen release. Most studies have been focused on airborne pollen monitoring, but to date, no data have been available on precise individual plant pollen and seed production related to plant traits growing in natural environment and on their corresponding source of variation. The aim of this study was to evaluate pollen and seed production of common ragweed plants in several populations in France. Seasonal pollen production per plant ranged from 100 million to 3 billion and seed production from 346 to 6,114, depending on plant size and habitat. Common ragweed plants developing in field crops produced more pollens and seeds than those growing in other habitats. Pollen and seed production was closely related to plant volume and biomass, thus providing a means of estimating potential pollen and seed production in given target areas. Such biological data could be integrated into population management strategies or into airborne pollen modelling.