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Fluctuation of birch (Betula L.) pollen seasons in Poland

Puc, Małgorzata, Wolski, Tomasz, Camacho, Irene Câmara, Myszkowska, Dorota, Kasprzyk, Idalia, Grewling, Łukasz, Nowak, Małgorzata, Weryszko-Chmielewska, Elżbieta, Piotrowska-Weryszko, Krystyna, Chłopek, Kazimiera, Dąbrowska-Zapart, Katarzyna, Majkowska-Wojciechowska, Barbara, Balwierz, Zofia, Malkiewicz, Małgorzata, Grinn-Gofroń, Agnieszka, Stacewicz, Alina, Kruczek, Aleksandra, Borycka, Katarzyna
Acta agrobotanica 2015 v.68 no.4 pp. 303-313
Betula, air, allergens, cities, flowering, pollen, risk, samplers, solar radiation, turbulent flow, vegetation, wind, Poland
Birch pollen grains are one of the most important groups of atmospheric biological particles that induce allergic processes. The fluctuation pattern of birch pollen seasons in selected cities of Poland is presented. Measurements were performed by the volumetric method (Burkard and Lanzoni 2000 pollen samplers). The distributions of the data were not normal (Shapiro–Wilk test) and statistical error risk was estimated at a significance level of α = 0.05. Pollen season was defined as the period in which 95% of the annual total catch occurred. The linear trend for the selected features of the pollen season, skewness, kurtosis and coefficient of variation (V%) were also analyzed. During the 12–14 years of study, the beginnings of birch pollen seasons were observed 7–14 days earlier, the ends were noted 5–10 days earlier, and the days with maximum values occurred 7–14 days earlier compared to the long-term data. The left-skewed distribution of the pollen season starts in most sampling sites confirms the short-lasting occurrence of pollen in the air. The threat of birch pollen allergens was high during the pollen seasons. If vegetation is highly diverse, flowering and pollen release are extended in time, spread over different weeks and occur at different times of the day. Flowering time and pollen release are affected by insolation, convection currents, wind, and turbulence. Therefore, pollen seasons are characterized by great inter-annual variability.