University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The Long Distance Transport of Airborne Ambrosia Pollen to the UK and the Netherlands from Central and South Europe

de Weger, L.A., Pashley, C.H., Šikoparija, B., Skjøth, C. ORCID:, Kasprzyk, I., Grewling, Ł., Thibaudon, M., Magyar, D. and Smith, Matt ORCID: (2016) The Long Distance Transport of Airborne Ambrosia Pollen to the UK and the Netherlands from Central and South Europe. International Journal of Biometeorlogy, 60 (12). pp. 1829-1839. ISSN Print: 0020-7128 Online: 1432-1254

IJBM-D-15-00221_R1.pdf - Accepted Version

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Background: The invasive alien species Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common or short ragweed) is increasing its range in Europe. In the UK and the Netherlands airborne concentrations of Ambrosia pollen are usually low. However, more than 30 Ambrosia pollen grains per cubic metre of air (above the level capable to trigger allergic symptoms) were recorded in Leicester (UK) and Leiden (NL) on 4 and 5 September 2014.
Objective: The aims of this study were to determine whether the highly allergenic Ambrosia pollen recorded during the episode could be the result of long distance transport, to identify the potential sources of these pollen grains and describe the conditions that facilitated this possible long distance transport.
Methods: Airborne Ambrosia pollen data were collected at 10 sites in Europe. Back trajectory and atmospheric dispersion calculations were performed using HYSPLIT_4.
Results: Back trajectories calculated at Leicester and Leiden show that higher altitude air masses (1500m) originated from source areas on the Pannonian Plain and Ukraine. During the episode, air masses veered to the west and passed over the Rhône Valley. Dispersion calculations showed that the atmospheric conditions were suitable for
Ambrosia pollen released from the Pannonian Plain and the Rhône Valley to reach the higher levels and enter the air stream moving to Northwest Europe where they were
deposited at ground level and recorded by monitoring sites.
Conclusions: The study indicates that the Ambrosia pollen grains recorded during the episode in Leicester and Leiden were probably not produced by local sources, but transported long distances from potential source regions in East Europe, i.e. the Pannonian Plain and Ukraine, as well as the Rhône Valley in France.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

National Pollen and Aerobiology Unit (NPARU).

The full-text of the online published article can be accessed via the Official URL.
The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​
s00484-016-1170-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: NPARU, National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit, Ambrosia, long distance transport, back trajectory analysis atmospheric movement, Pannonian Plain
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
Related URLs:
Copyright Info: Open Access article
Depositing User: Carsten Skjoth
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2016 10:25
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2020 04:00

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