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Trends in pollen season characteristics of Alnus, Poaceae and Artemisia allergenic taxa in Bratislava, central Europe

Jana Ščevková, Jozef Dušička, Michal Hrabovský, Zuzana Vašková
Aerobiologia 2021 v.37 no.4 pp. 707-717
Alnus, Artemisia, Poaceae, air temperature, allergenicity, phenology, pollen, pollen season, urbanization, Central European region
Over the period 2002–2019, air temperature and precipitation significantly increased regionally for Bratislava, which could lead to phenological changes in some plant species. This study aimed to analyse the changes in the intensity, timing, and duration of pollen seasons of three allergological important plant taxa (Alnus, Poaceae, Artemisia) in the study area over 18 years. The pollen sampling was performed using a Hirst-type sampler. Mann–Kendall tau test was used to determine trends in pollen season characteristics, while Spearman’s correlation analysis was used to identify the relationships between the characteristics of pollen seasons and both air temperature and precipitation trends. The notable changes in the pollen-season-related features were observed for all analysed taxa. The Alnus pollen season now reaches the peak earlier and its intensity is rising in line with the summer-autumn temperature increasing trend, while unexpectedly intensity and duration of the Artemisia pollen season are declining in line with the increased precipitation and/or temperature trends. On the other hand, the intensity of the Poaceae pollen season is also declining, however, without statistically significant correlations with recorded increases in meteorological parameters considered. This phenomenon is probably related to both the reduction of the area of grasslands due to urbanization and the implementation of effective maintenance of urban green areas (e.g., timely mowing preventing the repeatedly flowering of grasses).