University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Pollen Monitoring: Minimum Requirements and Reproducibility of Analysis

Galán, C., Smith, Matt ORCID:, Thibaudon, M., Frenguelli, G., Oteros, J., Gehrig, R., Berger, U., Clot, B., Brando, R. and European Aerobiology Society, Quality Control Working Group (2014) Pollen Monitoring: Minimum Requirements and Reproducibility of Analysis. Aerobiologia, 30 (4). pp. 385-395. ISSN Print: 0393-5965 Online: 1573-3025

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Training, quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) play an important role in building competence in monitoring and research in aerobiology. The main goals of this paper were to: (a) formulate an updated Minimum Requirements Report for pollen monitoring; (b) carry out a pilot QC exercise of staff involved in pollen counting from various national networks in order to examine between analysts reproducibility and develop a methodology that can be used in future QC exercises. A questionnaire survey was sent to coordinators of participating pollen monitoring networks. In addition, a total of 45 technicians from 15 European countries participated in the pilot QC exercise. All technicians were instructed to analyse two slides containing the following pollen types: (a) Poaceae and Betula pollen grains in the north of Europe; (b) Poaceae and Olea pollen grains in the south of Europe. Minimum Recommendations were produced based on the results of the questionnaire survey, published literature, and the outcomes of a workshop. In the QC exercise, it was noticed that technicians who followed the Minimum Recommendations and examined at least 10 % of the slide tended to have better indicators of precision and accuracy than those technicians who did not follow the Minimum Recommendations. The proposed Minimum Recommendations will help to improve the quality of scientific work, particularly for those who are considering the setting up of new monitoring sites. The results of the pilot QC exercise will help to develop a methodology that can be used again in the future, thereby ensuring data quality.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: aerobiology, quality assurance, quality control, questionnaire, minimum requirements report, pollen monitoring, research in aerobiology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
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Depositing User: Karol Kosinski
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2017 15:35
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2020 04:00

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