Climate effects on the recent range expansion of ragweed in Central Europe

Recent range expansions of invasive species in temperate regions have repeatedly been attributed to climate warming. However, other invasion drivers like increased rates of travel and transport or changes in land use patterns might also be responsible for these range dynamics. Isolation of the effects of different factors is hampered by the availability of appropriate analytical/modelling tools. In this project, we will design and implement such a tool as a spatially explicit generalized survival model with a modular structure to account for various potentially driving processes. The model will be embedded in a Bayesian framework with parameter estimation algorithms based on Markov-chain-Monte-Carlo-simulations. We will then use this framework to assess and quantify the role of climate warming for the range dynamics of the invasive allergenic weed Ambrosia artemisiifolia in central Europe since the mid of the 20th century.

Funding:Austrian Research Panel on Climate Change (ACRP)
Project start:July 2011
Project time:28 months
Contact:Stefan Dullinger

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