Analysis of high allergenicity airborne pollen dispersion: common ragweed study case in Lithuania
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Department of Environmental Research, Šiauliai University, Šiauliai, Lithuania
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012;19(3):415-419
The appearance of ragweed pollen in the air became more frequent in northerly countries. Attention of allergologists and aerobiologists in these countries is focused on the phenomenon that Ambrosia plants found relatively sporadic but the amount of pollen is high in particular days. Over the latter decade, a matter of particular concern has been Ambrosia pollen, whose appearance in the air is determined by the plants dispersing it and meteorological processes that alter pollen release, dissemination, transport or deposition on surfaces. Pollen data used in this study were collected in three pollen-trapping sites in Lithuania. The data corresponding to 2006-2011 years of pollen monitoring were documented graphically and evaluated statistically. Analysis of the pollen data suggests that although the number of ragweed plants identified has not increased over the latter decade, the total pollen count has been on the increase during the recent period. The highest atmospheric pollen load is established on the last days of August and first days of September. The estimated effect of meteorological parameters on pollen dispersal in the air showed that in Lithuania ragweed pollen is recorded when the relative air humidity is about 70%, and the minimal air temperature is not less than 12°C. Analysis of wind change effect on pollen count indicates that pollen is most often recorded in the air when the changes in wind speed are low (1-2 m/s). We have established a regularity exhibiting an increase in ragweed pollen count conditioned by south-eastern winds in Lithuania.
This work was funded by the Lithuanian National Program “Lithuania’s ecosystems: Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impact”. Project number LEK-15/2010 “Ragweed distribution, invasion possibilities in Lithuania and airborne pollen dispersion” (AMBROZIJA). The authors are grateful to the Lithuanian Hydrometeorological Service for the meteorological data.
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