Influence of meteorological parameters and air pollution on hourly fluctuation of birch ([i]Betula L.[/i]) and ash ([i]Fraxinus L[/i].) airborne pollen

Department of Botany and Nature Conservation, University of Szczecin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2012;19(4):660–665
Pollen grains are one of the most important groups of atmospheric biological particles that originate allergic processes. Knowledge of intradiurnal variation of the atmospheric pollen may be useful for the treatment and prevention of pollen allergies. Intradiurnal fluctuation of hourly pollen counts in 24 h are related to the daily rhythm of anther opening, and modified by various interacting factors. Flowering and pollen production of individual species are influenced by genetic, phenological, ecological, meteorological and climatic factors. Estimation of the intradiurnal variability in the pollen count permits evaluation of the threat posed by allergens over a given area. Measurements performed in Szczecin over a period of 7 years (2006-2012) permitted analysis of hourly variation of the pollen count of birch ([i]Betula[/i]) and ash ([i]Fraxinus[/i]) in 24 h, and evaluation of the impact of weather conditions and the concentration of gas air pollutants on the intradiurnal patterns of both taxa. Aerobiological monitoring was conducted using a Hirst volumetric trap (Lanzoni VPPS 2000). Consecutive phases during the day were defined as 1, 5, 25, 50, 75, 95, 99% of annual total pollen. The analysis revealed that 50% of total daily pollen was noted at 14:00 for [i]Betula[/i] and[i] Fraxinus[/i]. The hourly distribution of birch pollen count skewed to the left and the majority of pollen of this taxon appears in the air in the first 12 hours of the day. However, for ash, the hourly distribution of pollen count skewed to the right. Statistically significant correlation was noted between the [i]Betula[/i] and [i]Fraxinus[/i] pollen concentration and the mean air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, air pressure, total radiation and nitrogen oxides (NO[sub]x[/sub]).