International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 52, Issue 7, pp 675–687

Long-range transport of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) pollen to Catalonia (north-eastern Spain)


  • J. Belmonte
    • Unitat de Botànica and ICTAUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • M. Alarcón
    • Deptartament de Física i Enginyeria NuclearUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    • CREAFUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • E. Scialabba
    • Unitat de Botànica and ICTAUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • D. Pino
    • Deptartament de Física AplicadaUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00484-008-0160-9

Cite this article as:
Belmonte, J., Alarcón, M., Avila, A. et al. Int J Biometeorol (2008) 52: 675. doi:10.1007/s00484-008-0160-9


Local and long-range transport of beech (Fagus sylvatica) pollen was analysed by using 23-year data (1983–2007) at six stations in Catalonia, Spain, and numerical simulations. Back trajectories and synoptic meteorology indicated a consistent north European provenance during beech pollen peak days. Specifically, the area from northern Italy to central Germany was the most probable source, as indicated by a source-receptor model based on back trajectories. For the event with the highest pollen levels (17 May 2004), back trajectories indicated a source in the Vosges (NE France) and the Schwarzwald (SW Germany) regions. By applying a mesoscale model (MM5) to this event, pollen transport could be further refined, allowing its entrance to Catalonia through the lower easternmost pass of the Pyrenees (the Alberes pass, 500 m a.s.l.) to be described. Hourly counts of Fagus pollen allowed the timing of pollen arrival during this episode to be matched with the model results regarding the above-mentioned passage. This study may help to interpret some results of modern beech genetic diversity and contribute to the understanding of paleopalynological records by taking long-range transport into consideration.


PollenBack trajectoriesSource receptor modelMesoscale transport model

Copyright information

© ISB 2008