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Airborne pollen sampling in Toledo, Central Spain

García-Mozo, Herminia, Pérez-Badia, Rosa, Fernández-González, Federico, Galán, Carmen
Aerobiologia 2006 v.22 no.1 pp. 55-66
Alnus, Amaranthaceae, Artemisia, Castanea, Cupressaceae, Fraxinus, Olea, Pinus, Platanus, Poaceae, Populus, Quercus, Salix, Tamarix, Ulmus, Urticaceae, air, crops, flowering, humidity, monitoring, pollen, pollination, rain, spring, temperature, tourists, trees, Spain
Toledo is one of the main tourist spots of Spain, attracting around two million visitors per year. Its geographical situation in the vast and scarcely monitored Region of Castilla La Mancha and the high number of tourists (especially in the spring) has resulted in the Spanish Aerobiology Network (REA) making this city a major study objective. Air monitoring studies carried out using REA sampling procedures commenced in October 2002. Thirty-two pollen types were identified during the sampling period (October 2002 to October 2004). The annual Pollen Index (PI) was 44124 for the agricultural year October 2002-October 2003, and 29666 in the same period of 2003-2004. The most abundant taxa were, in decreasing order of dominance: Cupressaceae, Quercus, Poaceae, Populus, Olea, Urticaceae, Platanus, Pinus and Ulmus. Other, less well-represented pollen taxa included Salix, Alnus, Fraxinus and Tamarix, which were characteristic of riverside areas, and Morus, Artemisia and Chenopodiaceae. The presence of Castanea pollen grains originating from chestnut crops far away from the city was clearly an example of long-distance transport. The highest concentrations of airborne pollen were detected from March to May and also in January, due to the flowering of Cupressaceae species. In general, there was a correlation between pollen and meteorological parameters: a positive correlation with temperature and a negative correlation with rainfall and humidity during the pre-peak period. A negative correlation between temperature and some tree pollen taxa was detected in the principal pollen period correlation analysis due to their long pollination periods.