Atmospheric transport reveals grass pollen dispersion distances

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Frisk, C. A., Apangu, G., Petch, G. M., Adams-Groom, B. and Skjoth, C. A. 2022. Atmospheric transport reveals grass pollen dispersion distances. Science of the Total Environment. 814, p. 152806.

AuthorsFrisk, C. A., Apangu, G., Petch, G. M., Adams-Groom, B. and Skjoth, C. A.

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 × 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.

KeywordsBioaerosol ; Poaceae; HYSPLIT; Improved grassland ; Urban-rural gradient; Source Area
Year of Publication2022
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Journal citation814, p. 152806
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online01 Jan 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted27 Dec 2021
PublisherElsevier Science Bv

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