pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 116, Issue 2–3, pp 309–315

Distribution of airborne pollen and spores and their long distance transport

  • P. H. Gregory
Aerosols and the Biosphere


The atmosphere near the ground contains a mixed population of pollen and spores in the 1 to 90 μm diameter range. Continuous sampling at Rothamsted Experimental Station at 2 m above ground level indicated concentrations averaging 12,000 m−3 over 5 summer months, but 1 million m−3 can occur for short periods. Concentrations change rapidly with locality, season, time of day or night and weather. Normally concentration in the troposphere decreases logarithmically with height. The occurrence of long distance transport of pollen and spores by wind is demonstrated by sampling from aircraft, and supported by much circumstantial evidence. Possible effects of this air spora on the atmosphere may be sought in alterations to: opacity, ionization, condensation nuclei, and sinks for minor gases.

Key Words

Pollen Spores Transport Vertical distribution 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cammack, R. H. (1958),Studies on Puccinia polysoraUnderw. II. A consideration of the method of introduction of P. polysorainto Africa, Trans. Br. mycol. Soc.42, 27–32.Google Scholar
  2. Craigie, J. H. (1945),Epidemiology of stem rust in Western Canada, Scient. Agric.25, 285–401.Google Scholar
  3. Fulton, J. D. (1966),Micro-organisms of the upper atmosphere. IV. Micro-organisms of a land air mass as it traverses an ocean, Appl. Microbiol.14, 241–4.Google Scholar
  4. Gregory, P. H.,The Microbiology of the Atmosphere. 2nd Edition. (Leonard Hill/Intertext, Aylesbury 1973), 377 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Gregory, P. H. andHirst, J. M. (1957),The summer air spora at Rothamsted in 1952, J. gen. Microbiol.17, 135–52.Google Scholar
  6. Hafsten, U. (1960),Pleistocene development of vegetation and climate in Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island. Arbok Univ. Bergen, Mat. Natur. Ser. 1960, No. 20, 48 pp.Google Scholar
  7. Hermansen, J. E., Torp, U. andPrahm, L. P. (1976),Evidence of long-distance dispersal of live spores of Puccinia hordeiand P. reconditaf.sp. tritici, Cereal Rusts Bulletein4, 31–35.Google Scholar
  8. Hirst, J. M. (1953),Changes in atmospheric spore content: diurnal periodicity and the effects of weather, Trans. Br. mycol. Soc.36, 375–93.Google Scholar
  9. Hirst, J. M. andHurst, G. W. (1967),Long-distance spore transport inAirborne Microbes (ed. P. H. Gregory and J. L. Monteith), Symp. Soc. gen. Microbiol.17, 307–44. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Sreeramulu, T. andRamalingam, A. (1961),Experiments on the dispersion of Lycopodiumand Podaxisspores in the air, Ann. appl. Biol.49, 659–70.Google Scholar
  11. Strange, R. E. andCox, C. S. (1976),Survival of dried and airborne bacteria, in The Survival of Vegetative Microbes (ed. T. R. G. Gray and J. R. Postgate), Symp. Soc. gen. Microbiol.26, 111-54. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Wilkinson, A. G. andSpiers, A. G. (1976),Introduction of the poplar rusts Melampsora larici-populinaand M. medusaeto New Zealand and their subsequent distribution. N.Z.J. Sci.19, 195–8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. H. Gregory
    • 1
  1. 1.HarpendenEngland

Personalised recommendations