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Xiaoqing Xian, Haoxiang Zhao, Rui Wang, Hongkun Huang, Baoxiong Chen, Guifen Zhang, Wanxue Liu*, Fanghao Wan. Climate change has increased the global threats posed by three ragweeds (Ambrosia L.) in the Anthropocene. Science of The Total Environment, 2022.

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Invasive alien plants (IAPs) substantially affect the native biodiversity, agriculture, industry, and human health worldwide.  Ambrosia (ragweed) species, which are major IAPs globally, produce a significant impact on human health and the natural environment. In particular, invasion of  A. artemisiifolia ,  A. psilostachya , and  A. trifida in non-native continents is more extensive and severe than that of other species. Here, we used biomod2 ensemble model based on environmental and species occurrence data to predict the potential geographical distribution, overlapping geographical distribution areas, and the ecological niche dynamics of these three ragweeds and further explored the environmental variables shaping the observed patterns to assess the impact of these IAPs on the natural environment and public health. The ecological niche has shifted in the invasive area compared with that in the native area, which increased the invasion risk of three  Ambrosia species during the invasion process in the world. The potential geographical distribution and overlapping geographical distribution areas of the three  Ambrosia species are primarily distributed in Asia, North America, and Europe, and are expected to increase under four representative concentration pathways in the 2050s. The centers of potential geographical distributions of the three  Ambrosia species showed a tendency to shift poleward from the current time to the 2050s. Bioclimatic variables and the human influence index were more significant in shaping these patterns than other factors. In brief, climate change has facilitated the expansion of the geographical distribution and overlapping geographical distribution areas of the three  Ambrosia species. Ecomanagement and cross-country management strategies are warranted to mitigate the future effects of the expansion of these ragweed species worldwide in the Anthropocene on the natural environment and public health.

Science of The Total Environment, IF: 10.753