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Pollen spectrum in Northern Tunis, Tunisia

Hadj Hamda, S., Ben Dhiab, A., Galán, C., Msallem, M.
Aerobiologia 2017 v.33 no.2 pp. 243-251
Amaranthaceae, Cupressus, Mercurialis annua, Olea europaea, Poaceae, Urticaceae, autumn, flowering, herbaceous plants, humidity, hydrology, periodicity, pollen, rain, spore traps, spring, summer, temperature, trees, winter, Tunisia
This study has been focused on airborne pollen concentration in Northern Tunis. Pollen has been detected by a volumetric Hirst-type spore trap. This suction sampler was placed for two hydrologic years in the area of Mornag, northeastof Tunisia (36°40N; 10°17E). Fifty-two taxa were identified with heterogeneous daily pollen concentrations and a dominance of anemophilous plants. The main pollen types detected in the atmosphere were Olea europaea (38.7 and 20.75%), Cupressus (33.57 and 55.4%), Urticaceae (9.22 and 12.24%), Poaceae (3.55 and 3.32%), Mercurialis annua (2.96 and 1.6%) and Amaranthaceae (2.49 and 1.55%). The monthly pollen spectrum indicated a seasonal periodicity of airborne pollen with the main pollen season during spring. Two pollen seasons have been observed during these hydrologic years, due to both Cupressus and Amaranthaceae airborne pollen is represented during winter or spring, and also during autumn and late summer, respectively. Other pollen types represent a long pollen season, i.e., Urticaceae, starting in autumn and following until late spring. Daily pollen concentration showed a different behavior during the flowering season between both years, observing differences related to pollen index. Correlation between daily pollen concentrations of the dominant taxa showed a positive and significant correlation between airborne pollen concentrations of spring-pollinated taxa and mean temperature, but negative with maximum temperature, humidity and rainfall. In the case of minimum temperature, a different response, positive for trees and negative for herbaceous plants, has been observed.