Temporal and geographical variations in grass pollen seasons in areas of west0ern Europe: an analysis of season dates at sites of the European pollen information system
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- Emberlin, J., Jaeger, S., Dominguez-Vilches, E. et al. Aerobiologia (2000) 16: 373. doi:10.1023/A:1026521331503
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Geographical and temporal variations in the start dates of grass pollen seasons are described for selected sites of the European Pollen Information Service. Daily average grass pollen counts are derived from Network sites in Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark, United Kingdom, Austria, Italy and Spain, giving a broad longitudinal transect over Western Europe. The study is part of a larger project that also examines annual and regional variations in the severity, timing of the peak and duration of the grass pollen seasons. For several sites, data are available for over twenty years enabling long term trends to be discerned. The analyses show notable contrasts in the progression of the seasons annually with differing lag times occurring between southern and northern sites in various years depending on the weather conditions. The patterns identified provide some insight into geographical differences and temporal trends in the incidence of pollinosis. The paper discusses the main difficulties involved in this type of analysis and notes possibilities for using data from the European Pollen Information service to construct pan European predictive models for pollen seasons.