University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Why should we care about high temporal resolution monitoring of bioaerosols in ambient air?

Smith, Matt ORCID:, Matavulj, P., Mimić, G., Panić, M., Grewling, Ł. and Šikoparija, B. (2022) Why should we care about high temporal resolution monitoring of bioaerosols in ambient air? Science of the Total Environment, 826. p. 154231. ISSN 0048-9697

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This is the first time that atmospheric concentrations of individual pollen types have been recorded by an automatic sampler with 1-hour and sub-hourly resolution (i.e. 1-minute and 1-second data). The data were collected by traditional Hirst type methods and state-of the art Rapid-E real-time bioaerosol detector. Airborne pollen data from 7 taxa, i.e. Acer negundo, Ambrosia, Broussonetia papyrifera, Cupressales (Taxaceae and Cupressaceae families), Platanus, Salix and Ulmus, were collected during the 2019 pollen season in Novi Sad, Serbia. Pollen data with daily, hourly and sub-hourly temporal resolution were analysed in terms of their temporal variability. The impact of turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) on pollen cloud homogeneity was investigated. Variations in Seasonal Pollen Integrals produced by Hirst and Rapid-E show that scaling factors are required to make data comparable. Daily average and hourly measurements recorded by the Rapid-E and Hirst were highly correlated and so examining Rapid-E measurements with sub-hourly resolution is assumed meaningful from the perspective of identification accuracy. Sub-hourly data provided an insight into the heterogenous nature of pollen in the air, with distinct peaks lasting ~5–10 min, and mostly single pollen grains recorded per second. Short term variations in 1-minute pollen concentrations could not be wholly explained by TKE. The new generation of automatic devices has the potential to increase our understanding of the distribution of bioaerosols in the air, provide insights into biological processes such as pollen release and dispersal mechanisms, and have the potential for us to conduct investigations into dose-response relationships and personal exposure to aeroallergens.

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This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license (

We acknowledge support from COST Action CA18226 “New approaches in detection of pathogens and aeroallergens (ADOPT)” ( This research was partially funded by the BREATHE project from the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia PROMIS program, under grant agreement no. 6039613 and by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (grant agreement numbers 451-03-9/2021-14/200358) and the ECOST-STSM-CA18226-280621-129621 to BS. Measurement campaign in Novi Sad was supported by RealForAll project (2017HR-RS151) co-financed by the Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation program Croatia – Serbia 2014–2020 and Provincial secretariat for Science, Autonomous Province Vojvodina, Republic of Serbia (contract no. 102-401-337/2017-02-4-35-8).

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Airborne pollen, High temporal resolution, 1-Minute data, 1-Second data, Laser spectroscopy
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
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Copyright Info: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Depositing User: Matthew Smith
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2022 10:53
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2022 10:56

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