University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Investigating Ambrosia Pollen Episodes in Poland Using Back-Trajectory Analysis

Smith, Matt ORCID:, Skjøth, C. ORCID:, Myszkowska, D., Stach, Alicja and Kasprzyk, I. (2009) Investigating Ambrosia Pollen Episodes in Poland Using Back-Trajectory Analysis. Allergy, 64 (s90). p. 300. ISSN Print: 0105-4538 Online: 1398-9995

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Background: The pollen grains of Ambrosia spp. are considered to be important aeroallergens. Previous studies have shown that the long-range transport of Ambrosia pollen to Poland is intermittent and mainly related to the passage of air masses over the Carpathian and Sudetes mountains from sources to the south, e.g. the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. In this study, Ambrosia pollen counts and back-trajectories from specific episodes in 1999 and 2002 have been analysed with the aim of identifying possible new sources of Ambrosia pollen arriving at three sites in Poland.
Method: The combination of Ambrosia pollen measurements (daily average and bi-hourly concentrations) and air mass trajectory calculations were used to investigate two Ambrosia pollen episodes recorded at Rzeszow, Krakow and Poznań on the 4th and 5th September 1999 and 3rd September 2002. Ambrosia pollen counts were recorded by volumetric spore traps of the Hirst design. Trajectories were calculated using the transport model within the Lagrangian air pollution model, ACDEP (Atmospheric Chemistry and Deposition).
Results: The collective results of pollen measurements and back-trajectory analysis indicate plumes of Ambrosia pollen travelling up through Poland from the southeast during the investigated episodes. In 1999, the plume was first recorded at Rzeszow in Southeastern Poland during the morning of the 4th September. Its route can be followed as it passed Krakow during the afternoon of the 4th, and later on the 4th and 5th September at Poznań. Similarly, back-trajectories calculated during the morning and afternoon from Krakow and Rzeszow on the 3rd September 2002 indicates that the air masses arrived at these sites from the East or Southeast.
Conclusion: This study shows the progress of Ambrosia plumes into Poland from the southeast. Ambrosia pollen release occurs mainly during the day and so a midday peak in Ambrosia pollen concentrations may indicate a local source. However, if the plume of Ambrosia pollen tracked along its northwesterly path over Poland during investigated episodes did not originate from inside Poland, then it is likely that it came from the Ukraine. This identifies a possible new source of ragweed pollen for Poland. Trajectory analysis can only show the path along which an air mass travels, not the specific source area. Further investigation could therefore include source based transport models such as 3D Eulerian atmospheric transport models.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Originally deposited as National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit (NPARU)

The full-text can be accessed via the official URL.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: aeroallergens, Ambrosia pollen, Poland, back-trajectory analysis
Subjects: 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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Depositing User: Matthew Smith
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2009 15:36
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2020 10:28

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