, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 263-272
Date: 18 Feb 2009

The Pannonian plain as a source of Ambrosia pollen in the Balkans

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This study aims to find likely sources of Ambrosia pollen recorded during 2007 at five pollen-monitoring sites in central Europe: Novi Sad, Ruma, Negotin and Nis (Serbia) and Skopje (Macedonia). Ambrosia plants start flowering early in the morning and so Ambrosia pollen grains recorded during the day are likely to be from a local source. Conversely, Ambrosia pollen grains recorded at night or very early in the morning may have arrived via long-range transport. Ambrosia pollen counts were analysed in an attempt to find possible sources of the pollen and to identify Ambrosia pollen episodes suitable for further investigation using back-trajectory analysis. Diurnal variations and the magnitude of Ambrosia pollen counts during the 2007 Ambrosia pollen season showed that Novi Sad and Ruma (Pannonian Plain) and to a lesser degree Negotin (Balkans) were located near to sources of Ambrosia pollen. Mean bi-hourly Ambrosia pollen concentrations peaked during the middle of the day, and concentrations at these sites were notably higher than at Nis and Skopje. Three episodes were selected for further analysis using back-trajectory analysis. Back-trajectories showed that air masses brought Ambrosia pollen from the north to Nis and, on one occasion, to Skopje (Balkans) during the night and early morning after passing to the east of Novi Sad and Ruma during the previous day. The results of this study identified the southern part of the Pannonian Plain around Novi Sad and Ruma as being a potential source region for Ambrosia pollen recorded at Nis and Skopje in the Balkans.