University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Atmospheric Transport Reveals Grass Pollen Dispersion Distances

Frisk, Carl A. ORCID:, Apangu, Godfrey, Petch, Geoffrey, Adams-Groom, Beverley ORCID: and Skjøth, C. ORCID: (2022) Atmospheric Transport Reveals Grass Pollen Dispersion Distances. Science of the Total Environment, 814 (152806). ISSN Print: 0048-9697 Online: 1879-1026

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Identifying the origin of bioaerosols is of central importance in many biological disciplines, such as human health, agriculture, forestry, aerobiology and conservation. Modelling sources, transportation pathways and sinks can reveal how bioaerosols vary in the atmosphere and their environmental impact. Grass pollen are particularly important due to their widely distributed source areas, relatively high abundance in the atmosphere and high allergenicity. Currently, studies are uncertain regarding sampler representability between distance and sources for grass pollen. Using generalized linear modelling, this study aimed to analyse this relationship further by answering the question of distance-to-source area contribution. Grass pollen concentrations were compared between urban and rural locations, located 6.4 km apart, during two years in Worcestershire, UK. We isolated and refined vegetation areas at 100 m x 100 m using the 2017 CEH Crop Map and conducted atmospheric modelling using HYSPLIT to identify which source areas could contribute pollen. Pollen concentrations were then modelled with source areas and meteorology using generalized linear mixed-models with three temporal variables as random variation. We found that the Seasonal Pollen Integral for grass pollen varied between both years and location, with the urban location having higher levels. Day of year showed higher temporal variation than the diurnal or annual variables. For the urban location, grass source areas within 30 km had positive significant effects in predicting grass pollen concentrations, while source areas within 2 – 10 km were important for the rural one. The source area differential was likely influenced by an urban-rural gradient that caused differences in the source area contribution. Temperature had positive highly significant effects on both locations while precipitation affected only the rural location. Combining atmospheric modelling, vegetation source maps and generalized linear modelling was found to be a highly accurate tool to identify transportation pathways of bioaerosols in landscape environments.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

CAF and GPA acknowledges that the research was funded by the European Commission through a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (Project ID CIG631745 and Acronym SUPREME to CAS) and by the University of Worcester.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Bioaerosol, Poaceae, HYSPLIT, Improved grassland, Urban-rural gradient, Source Area
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
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Copyright Info: 0048-9697/Crown Copyright © 2022 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved
Depositing User: Carsten Skjoth
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2022 13:06
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2023 01:00

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