ORIGINAL ARTICLES

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Ann Agric Environ Med 2006, 13, 25-32

PREDICTION OF AIRBORNE ALNUS POLLEN CONCENTRATION
BY USING ARIMA MODELS

Francisco Javier Rodriguez-Rajo1, Rosa Maria Valencia-Barrera2, Ana Maria Vega-Maray2,
Francisco Javier Suarez3, Delia Fernandez-Gonzalez2, Victoria Jato1

1Department of Plant Biology and Soil Sciences, University of Vigo, Sciences Faculty, Ourense, Spain
2Department of Plant Biology (Botanical Area), University of Leon, Sciences Faculty, Leon, Spain
3Department of Biology of Organisms and Systems, University of Oviedo, Biology Faculty, Oviedo, Spain

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Rodriguez-Rajo FJ, Valencia-Barrera RM, Vega-Maray AM, Suarez FJ, Fernandez-Gonzalez D, Jato V: Prediction of airborne Alnus pollen concentration by using ARIMA models. Ann Agric Environ Med 2006, 13, 25-32.

Abstract: To take preventative measures to protect allergic people from the severity of the pollen season, one of aerobiology’s objectives is to develop statistical models enabling the short- and long-term prediction of atmospheric pollen concentrations. During recent years some attempts have been made to apply Time Series analysis, frequently used in biomedical studies and atmospheric contamination to pollen series. The aim of this study is to understand the behaviour of atmospheric alder pollen concentrations in northwest Spain in order to develop predictive models of pollen concentrations by using Time Series analysis. The prediction line proposed for Oviedo and Ponferrada are similar (Arima 2,0,1) while in Vigo a more accurate model founded by Arima (3,0,1) and in León (1,0,1) was used. The results suggest that Ponferrada and Oviedo are the cities in northwest Spain where Alnus pollen allergic individuals should to take preventive measures to protect themselves from the severity of the pollen season. Alnus pollen values higher than 30 grains/m3, a quantity considered sufficient to trigger severe allergy symptoms of other trees of the Betulaceae family, could be reached during 25 days in some years. The predicted lines conformed with the observed values overall in the case of Leon and Ponferrada. Time Series regression models are especially suitable in allergology for evaluating short-term effects of time-varying pollen appearance in the atmosphere.

Address for correspondence: Dr. F. Javier Rodriguez Rajo, University of Vigo, Sciences Faculty of Ourense, Department of Plant Biology and Soil Sciences, Ourense, 32004, Spain. E-mail: javirajo@uvigo.es

Key words: Alnus, airborne pollen, ARIMA, predictive models, Spain, time series.


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