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Halo-nitrophilous scrub species and their relationship to the atmospheric concentration of allergenic pollen: case study of the Mediterranean saltbush (Atriplex halimus L., Amaranthaceae)

Rojo, Jesús, Serrano-Bravo, Mariano D., Lara, Beatriz, Fernández-González, Federico, Pérez-Badia, Rosa
Plant biosystems 2019 v.153 no.1 pp. 98-107
Atriplex halimus, air, allergenicity, autumn, case studies, flowering, hay fever, males, phenology, pollen, shrublands, summer, wind, Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean region, Spain
Halo-nitrophilous scrubs are characterised by their floristic richness in species of the family Amaranthaceae (include Chenopodiaceae) and the Mediterranean saltbush (Atriplex halimus L.) is one of the most characteristic species in the Mediterranean region. Pollen from Amaranthaceae is the main cause of pollinosis at the end of summer and autumn. In this study, the floral phenology of the species Atriplex halimus L., was studied relating it to the atmospheric concentration of Amaranthaceae pollen with the aim to know if it can serve as an indicator of the maximum pollen concentrations. Observations of the male floral phenology of Atriplex halimus were performed over the course of three years in the central Iberian Peninsula (Spain) and the aerobiological pollen data of Amaranthaceae were obtained using a Hirst-type volumetric trap. The results demonstrated that the flowering period of Atriplex halimus closely coincided with the peak pollen levels. Besides, the prevailing movements of air masses in relation to the distribution and abundance of the halo-nitrophilous scrub during the flowering period of Atriplex halimus were studied using a back-trajectory analysis. The results showed that distinct predominant wind patterns led to differences in the quantity of pollen recorded during the pollen season and in the behaviour of the evolution of airborne pollen concentrations.