A new predictive model developed by the ecologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a clinical scientist at the University of Washington suggests that climate change can allow common ragweeds to expand its rising levels in the north and the main northeastern subterranean areas, exacerbating conditions for millions of people with hay fever and asthma.
Plant ecologist Christina Stinson at UMass Amherst, which runs a research team that has been studying this plant for over ten years – especially as it responds to elevated CO2 levels – worked with the climate model and the corresponding Michael Case case in UV on this project. The details appear online in the magazine PLOS One.
They point out that, although weeds are expected to expand their scope, it could be moderated by its own sensitivity to climate variability. For example, they point out that in their analysis they are ragveed negatively correlated with a very low or very high annual variability of precipitation, "indicating the general sensitivity to extreme precipitation", as well as extreme temperatures, writes the authors. Stinson adds that this could turn out to be an important uncertainty; "If the northeast turns wet and cold, it would be less hospitable for ragweed," she says.
"One of the reasons we chose to study is ragweed is because of its implications for human health." Ragveed pollen is the primary allergenic culprit for fever-shade symptoms in the summer and fall in North America, so it affects a lot of people, "notes the plant ecologist.
In order to better understand how climate change can affect the distribution of common raquoons, Stinson and Case have built the maximum entropy, Makent, a predictive model using climate and bioclimatic data and observations throughout the eastern United States. They used data from the Danish Global Biodiversity Information Center, a project that provides hundreds of millions of detected species around the world, plus data on herbarium plants such as those located in UMass Amherst.
Stinson says: "We have increased 700 ragweed data from the entire range in North America and evaporated this information with another database that specifies the climate at each of these locations. Then we used climate change models to get ahead of time in what is expected. "
The authors also point out: "After building and testing our model, then we projected a potential future joint distribution of ragveed using a package of 13 global climate models within the two future greenhouse scenarios for the middle and late ages.In addition to providing georeferential hotspots of potential expansion in the future, we also provide a measure of reliability by estimating the number of global climate models that are in agreement. "
The model suggests that the "significant contraction" of conventional Ragweed may occur in central Florida, in the southern Appalachian mountains and northeastern Virginia, along with areas of potential expansion at the northern boundaries of its current distribution, especially in the northeastern United States.
Stinson adds: "What I found quite interesting is not so much that the extent of the rhizome is expanding, as this could have been expected for wild species, but I was interested in seeing where it is likely to expand and where to see contractions of the range. to a temporary burst, after which there would be a contraction in the 2070s. "
Researchers point out: "While other factors and approaches to modeling need to be considered, we also offer a preliminary insight into where new concerns may arise in the future. Due to the impact on rye health, local weed control committees may be advised to monitor areas of expansion and potentially increase eradication efforts. "
Stinson points out: "We do not have a lot of such models that will tell us where individual species can go under different scenarios. Ecologists are working on this kind of study for many species, but there is not always enough data from around the world, but some species data are rare. Ragveed is quite rich, which made this study feasible. "