ORIGINAL ARTICLES

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Ann Agric Environ Med 2006, 13, 209-224

QUERCUS POLLEN SEASON DYNAMICS IN THE IBERIAN PENINSULA:
RESPONSE TO METEOROLOGICAL PARAMETERS AND
POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Herminia Garcia-Mozo1, Carmen Galan1, Victoria Jato2, Jordina Belmonte3,
Consuelo Diaz de la Guardia4, Delia Fernandez5, Montserrat Gutierrez6, M. Jesus Aira7,
Joan M. Roure3, Luis Ruiz8, M. Mar Trigo9, Eugenio Dominguez-Vilches1

1Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Campus de Rabanales, Universidad de Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain
2Departamento de Biologia Vegetal y Ciencias del Suelo, Universidad de Vigo, Ourense, Spain
3Unidad de Botanica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
4Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
5Departamento de Biología Vegetal, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Leon, de Leon, Spain
6Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
7Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
8Departamento de Biologia Animal, Vegetal y Ecologia, Universidad de Jaen, Jaen, Spain
9Departamento de Biología Vegetal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Malaga, Malaga, Spain

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Garcia-Mozo H, Galan C, Jato V, Belmonte J, Diaz de la Guardia C, Fernandez D, Gutierrez M, Aira MJ, Roure JM, Ruiz L, Trigo MM, Domínguez-Vilches E: Quercus pollen season dynamics in the Iberian peninsula: response to meteorological parameters and possible consequences of climate change. Ann Agric Environ Med 2006, 13, 209-224.

Abstract: The main characteristics of the Quercus pollination season were studied in 14 different localities of the Iberian Peninsula from 1992-2004. Results show that Quercus flowering season has tended to start earlier in recent years, probably due to the increased temperatures in the pre-flowering period, detected at study sites over the second half of the 20th century. A Growing Degree Days forecasting model was used, together with future meteorological data forecast using the Regional Climate Model developed by the Hadley Meteorological Centre, in order to determine the expected advance in the start of Quercus pollination in future years. At each study site, airborne pollen curves presented a similar pattern in all study years, with different peaks over the season attributable in many cases to the presence of several species. High pollen concentrations were recorded, particularly at Mediterranean sites. This study also proposes forecasting models to predict both daily pollen values and annual pollen emission. All models were externally validated using data for 2001 and 2004, with acceptable results. Finally, the impact of the highly-likely climate change on Iberian Quercus pollen concentration values was studied by applying RCM meteorological data for different future years, 2025, 2050, 2075 and 2099. Results indicate that under a doubled CO2 scenario at the end of the 21st century Quercus pollination season could start on average one month earlier and airborne pollen concentrations will increase by 50% with respect to current levels, with higher values in Mediterranean inland areas.

Address for correspondence: Dr. Herminia Garcia-Mozo, Departamento de Biología Vegetal, Campus de Rabanales, Universidad de Cordoba, Spain.
E-mail: bv2gamoh@uco.es

Key words: aerobiology, allergy, pollen, Quercus, oaks, forestry, Growing Degree Days, Climate Change, predictive models.


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