Non-native Ambrosia pollen in the atmosphere of Rzeszów (SE Poland); evaluation of the effect of weather conditions on daily concentrations and starting dates of the pollen season
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The investigated problem was whether and to what an extent the elements of weather conditions were associated with changes in the concentration of Ambrosia pollen in air. The study was carried out in the years 1997–2004 using the volumetric method. Ragweed did not occur in the flora of the town of Rzeszów and its vicinity, but every year its pollen occurred at concentrations considerably exceeding the threshold values for the allergic response. The pollen seasons usually began from near the end of August to the first part of September. The values of daily concentrations varied greatly: days without pollen grains being frequently noted while single grains occurred long before and after the season. The effect of the elements of weather on changes in the concentration of pollen in the air was slight. Taking into account all meteorological parameters, it can be stated that an increase in the number of pollen grains is connected with increased temperature and higher wind speeds, but negatively correlated with humidity and rainfall. These relationships can usually be explained by the effects of the type of weather taking place over the wider region. The analysis of the results showed that pollen was probably transported from distant regions. The mean angle at which the greatest pollen concentrations were recorded corresponded to the SE wind direction. The analysis of synoptic phenomena during the pollen season confirms the thesis about the long-distance transport from the south, southeast and southwest. A close dependence was also found between the starting date of the season and the sum of maximum temperatures and the sum of differences between the maximum and minimum temperatures.