Biogeographical drivers of ragweed pollen concentrations in Europe


Matyasovszky I, Makra L, Tusnády G, Csépe Z, Nyúl LG, Chapman DS, Sümeghy Z, Szűcs G, Páldy A, Magyar D, Mányoki G, Erostyák J, Bodnár K, Bergmann K & Deák ÁJ (2018) Biogeographical drivers of ragweed pollen concentrations in Europe. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 133 (1-2), pp. 277-295.

The drivers of spatial variation in ragweed pollen concentrations, contributing to severe allergic rhinitis and asthma, are poorly quantified. We analysed the spatiotemporal variability in 16-year (1995–2010) annual total (66 stations) and annual total (2010) (162 stations) ragweed pollen counts and 8 independent variables (start, end and duration of the ragweed pollen season, maximum daily and calendar day of the maximum daily ragweed pollen counts, last frost day in spring, first frost day in fall and duration of the frost-free period) for Europe (16 years, 1995–2010) as a function of geographical coordinates. Then annual total pollen counts, annual daily peak pollen counts and date of this peak were regressed against frost-related variables, daily mean temperatures and daily precipitation amounts. To achieve this, we assembled the largest ragweed pollen data set to date for Europe. The dependence of the annual total ragweed pollen counts and the eight independent variables against geographical coordinates clearly distinguishes the three highly infected areas: the Pannonian Plain, Western Lombardy and the Rhône-Alpes region. All the eight variables are sensitive to longitude through its temperature dependence. They are also sensitive to altitude, due to the progressively colder climate with increasing altitude. Both annual total pollen counts and the maximum daily pollen counts depend on the start and the duration of the ragweed pollen season. However, no significant changes were detected in either the eight independent variables as a function of increasing latitude. This is probably due to a mixed climate induced by strong geomorphological inhomogeneities in Europe.

Atmospheric Science

Additional co-authors: Michel Thibaudon, Roberto Albertini, Maira Bonini, Branko Šikoparija, Predrag Radišić, Regula Gehrig, Ondřej Rybníček, Elena Severova, Victoria Rodinkova, Alexander Prikhodko, Anna Maleeva, Barbara Stjepanović, Nicoleta Ianovici, Uwe Berger, Andreja Kofol Seliger, Elżbieta Weryszko-Chmielewska, Ingrida Šaulienė, Valentina Shalaboda, Raina Yankova, Renata Peternel, Jana Ščevková, James M. Bullock

Theoretical and Applied Climatology: Volume 133, Issue 1-2

FundersCentre for Ecology & Hydrology
Publication date31/07/2018
Publication date online10/06/2017
Date accepted by journal22/05/2017
PublisherSpringer Nature