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Distribution of ambrosia

  • In urban areas, in public green areas, ambrosia requires the most attention because it takes up a wider space. That space, i.e. the green areas is covered in a large number of ambrosia plants. On locations of public green areas, ambrosia is a dominant plant and comes in smaller or bigger clusters of a large number of plants. As soon as it appears, and the necessary precautions are not taken, ambrosia spreads fast. These places are very accessible, so that suppression of ambrosia in these areas is mainly mechanical and very efficient. The significant presence of ambrosia on uncultivated land is also one of the reasons for its fast expansion.

    Distribution of ambrosia in crops and rural areas

    Ambrosia expansion noted in the last two decades in Central and Eastern Europe is closely connected with the process of socio-economic and political transition. During this process numerous agricultural combines and socialistic cooperatives were closed and enormous land complexes were given away to first owners or their heirs, who did not cultivate land for years. Thus vast surfaces of previously cultivated land were neglected and ambrosia colonized them fast and easily.

    Besides that, building new roads, highways, shopping malls etc., contributed to the formation of large surfaces of degraded land because in former socialist countries there were no, or there are still no standards for management of the exterior. The southern part of Hungary and Vojvodina are considered to be the most heavily affected parts of Europe as far as ambrosia and ambrosia pollen air pollution goes.

    Agricultural production is a very complex process which requires planning and making decisions which affect the success of the production. Making the right decisions in due time is closely connected to the possession of certain knowledge, skills and timely information together with the proper observation and consideration of all potential problems with finding the right solutions in time.

    In the country, in the fields and wagon tracks, there is also a lot of ambrosia which does not form closed groups but is scattered around in a small number of plants on a big surface. It is not possible to mow within crops without the owner's permission, as well as on headlands which are also private property. It is estimated that ambrosia is not dominant in rural areas, but that it grows individually or in smaller groups. It grows much faster on cultivated land and prevents other plants from growing. Regular maintenance and cultivation of crops, gardens and fields does not agree with ambrosia. Due to the scatter, it is not possible or even necessary to mow the plant material, but it needs to be hand-cut.

    As a weed, ambrosia appears in all crops, in cereal crops, row crops, orchards, vineyards, vegetable gardens and gardens. Thanks to great adaptability it inhabits different habitats. It could be ecologically characterized as a plant which grows in moderately moist, rich in nitrogen, poor in organic material, loose, well illuminated and very warm habitats. Lately, it can be found on the soil habitats, which implies that it can endure salty ground. Considering that it possesses great competitiveness compared to the crops in which it appears, ambrosia does some great direct and indirect damage to the crop industry. As a weed plant, ambrosia causes the ground to dry out because it drains a lot of water and minerals from the ground with the help of its well-developed root. In this way it directly affects the reduction in yields with the majority of crops.

    In order for the ambrosia suppression to be efficient, the main question is where can it not be sustained?

    The answer is on grass fields where the plants grow close to each other. Therefore by eliminating open, bare surfaces the primary habitat is taken from this plant. If the road edges, ditches, land surfaces in urban areas or anywhere else would be covered in thick, mowed grass, this unpleasant plant would largely be removed.

    In crops, it can only be suppressed mechanically and by mowing. By mechanically we mean cultivating, ploughing and disking, and it is useful only on those locations where it can be regularly applied, such as crops and gardens because the free surface gained by weed suppression allows this species, as well as other weeds, to sprout up from the countless seeds left in the ground. Weeding is possible where there is less weed among other plants.

    Ambrosia population in central Europe is expanding rapidly, especially in the agricultural regions. This phenomenon can be partially explained by the transition from traditional crops (wheat, maize) to new ones (sunflower) because ambrosia seed can often be found in sunflower seeds considering that they belong to the same plant family.

    When mowing leguminous crops and artificial grass the share of ragweed significantly reduces hay quality. A lot of work needs to be done to suppress ragweed because of everything previously stated. First of all, the import of contaminated seeds needs to be quarantine protected, as well as the agricultural land systematically examined.

    Ambrosia is largely present in crops such as maize, soybean and stubble in particular. High prevalence of ragweed in stubble fields and fields after wheat harvest is the ideal condition for its rapid germination of seeds with the help of high temperatures and moist soil.

    In places where mowing is not possible, we use chemical suppression with herbicides which are toxicologically and eco-toxicologically favourable and non-toxic for humans and the environment. For chemical suppression of ambrosia, we can use a large number of herbicides with different active substances like the products based on: 2.4D, glyphosate, prosulfuron, dicamba, paraquat, primisulfuron, fluroxypyr-methyl, dicamba+triasulfuron, rimsulfuron+dicamba, alachlor, etc. Herbicide application is complex and uncertain if we consider the variety of scientific farming procedures in our area and the tendency to transfer to ecological agriculture. Chemical products are to be applied only according to the expert advice!

    Scientists have recently been working on the discovery of ambrosia's natural enemies in order to naturally prevent its invasive development. By including ambrosia leaf eater (Lygogramma suturalis) and bollworm (Tarachidia candefacta), as well as by applying bioproducts which contain phytopathogen ambrosinin encouraging white rust fungus to suppress ambrosia, significant results were achieved in the biological fight. All agrotechnical, chemical and biological protective measures have to be applied in order to reduce the space for its development and expansion.

    Even though the results of air pollen monitoring has had the biggest role in medicine to date, it needs to be stated that aeropalynological data has been irreplaceable in agriculture, because it can be used for keeping track of the gene flow of the genetically modified crops, but also for forecasting the production of anemophilous crops.

     

     

 
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