, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 176-184

Phenological behaviour of Quercus in Ourense (NW Spain) and its relationship with the atmospheric pollen season

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Abstract.

Knowing the beginning of the pollen season is of particular importance to people allergic to a given pollen. Phenological studies in combination with aerobiological studies enable us to observe the relationship between the reproductive phenology of the species and their airborne pollen curves. They also enable us to study the relationship between the release of pollen from anthers and its presence in the atmosphere. The objectives of this study are (1) to determine chill and heat requirements for different phenological phases in the Quercus species present in Ourense (Spain), (2) to verify the synchronization between the flowering event and the presence of Quercus pollen in the air, (3) to select the best criterion for determining the onset of the pollen season according to phenological data, and finally, (4) to obtain models enabling us to determine the onset of the pollen season. Pollen monitoring was carried out from 1993 to 2001, by means of a 7-day Lanzoni VPPS pollen trap and, in order to characterize the floral phenophase of different Quercus species, a sampling method was applied from February to June 2001. We observed that climatic and biotic factors can produce a delay in the onset of the pollen season. Temperatures above 8 °C and between 6 °C to 8 °C are good threshold temperatures for estimating chill and heat requirements respectively. Medium-distance transportation of Quercus robur and Quercus pyrenaica pollen from areas 10–30 km away influences the concentrations of Quercus pollen registered in Ourense.

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