Definition of main pollen season using a logistic model.

Departamento de Botanica, Faculdade de Ciencia U.P., Rua do Campo Alegre, 1191, 4150 Porto, Portugal; ianoronh@fc.up.pt.
Ann Agric Environ Med 2007;14(2):259–264
This paper proposes a method to unify the definition of the main pollen season based on statistical analysis. For this, an aerobiological study was carried out in Porto region (Portugal), from 2003-2005 using a 7-day Hirst-type volumetric spore trap. To define the main pollen season, a non-linear logistic regression model was fitted to the values of the accumulated sum of the daily airborne pollen concentration from several allergological species. An important feature of this method is that the main pollen season will be characterized by the model parameters calculated. These parameters are identifiable aspects of the flowering phenology, and determine not only the beginning and end of the main pollen season, but are also influenced by the meteorological conditions. The results obtained with the proposed methodology were also compared with two of the most used percentage methods. The logistic model fitted well with the sum of accumulated pollen. The explained variance was always higher than 97 %, and the exponential part of the predicted curve was well adjusted to the time when higher atmospheric pollen concentration was sampled. The comparison between the different methods tested showed large divergence in the duration and end dates of the main pollen season of the studied species.