Although fungal spores are an ever-present component of the atmosphere throughout the year, their concentration oscillates widely. This work aims to establish correlations between fungal spore concentrations in Porto and Amares and meteorological data. The seasonal distribution of fungal spores was studied continuously (2005–2007) using volumetric spore traps. To determine the effect of meteorological factors (temperature, relative humidity and rainfall) on spore concentration, the Spearman rank correlation test was used. In both locations, the most abundant fungal spores were Cladosporium, Agaricus, Agrocybe, Alternaria and Aspergillus/Penicillium, the highest concentrations being found during summer and autumn. In the present study, with the exception of Coprinus and Pleospora, spore concentrations were higher in the rural area than in the urban location. Among the selected spore types, spring-autumn spores (Coprinus, Didymella, Leptosphaeria and Pleospora) exhibited negative correlations with temperature and positive correlations both with relative humidity and rainfall level. On the contrary, late spring-early summer (Smuts) and summer spores (Alternaria, Cladosporium, Epicoccum, Ganoderma, Stemphylium and Ustilago) exhibited positive correlations with temperature and negative correlations both with relative humidity and rainfall level. Rust, a frequent spore type during summer, had a positive correlation with temperature. Aspergillus/Penicillium, showed no correlation with the meteorological factors analysed. This knowledge can be useful for agriculture, allowing more efficient and reliable application of pesticides, and for human health, by improving the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory allergic disease.
Meteorological factor Portugal Rural area Spore concentration Urban area
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
The authors are grateful to Prof. Dr. Manuel de Barros, from the Instituto Geofísico da Universidade do Porto, and Eng. Guerner-Moreira, from the Direcção Regional de Agricultura e Pescas do Norte - Divisão de Protecção e Controle Fitossanitário, for the meteorological data provided. This work was partially supported by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (project: 77161) and a grant from the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (SFRH/BD/18765/2004).
Angulo-Romero J, Mediavilla-Molina A, Domínguez-Vilches E (1999) Conidia of Alternaria in the atmosphere of the city of Cordoba, Spain in relation to meteorological parameters. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 43:45–49Google Scholar
Bruno A, Pace L, Tomassetti B, Coppola E, Verdecchia M, Pacioni G, Visconti G (2007) Estimation of fungal spore concentrations associated to meteorological variables. Aerobiologia 23:221–228. doi:10.1007/s10453–007–9066-yCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burch M, Levetin E (2002) Effects of meteorological conditions on spore plumes. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 46:107–117Google Scholar
Fernández D, Valencia R, Molnár T, Vega A, Sagüés E (1998) Daily and seasonal variations of Alternaria and Cladosporium airborne spores in León (North-West, Spain). Aerobiologia 14:215–220. doi:10.1007/BF02694209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Giner M, Garcia J, Camacho C (2001) Airborne Alternaria spores in SE Spain (1993–98): Occurrence patterns, relationship with weather variables and prediction models. Grana 40:111–118. doi:10.1080/00173130152625842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gonzalo M, Paredes M, Muñoz A, Tormo R, Silva I (1997) Dinámica de dispersión de basidiosporas en la atmósfera de Badajoz. Rev Esp Alergol Inmunol Clin 12:294–300Google Scholar
Molina A, Angulo Romero J, Garcia-Pantaleon I, Comtois P, Vilches E (1998) Preliminary statistical modeling of the presence of two conidial types of Cladosporium in the atmosphere of Cordoba, Spain. Aerobiologia 14:229–234. doi:10.1007/BF02694211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Myszkowska D, Stepalska D, Obtulowicz K, Porebski G (2002) The relationship between airborne pollen and fungal spore concentrations and seasonal pollen allergy symptoms in Cracow in 1997–1999. Aerobiologia 18:153–161. doi:10.1023/A:1020603717191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nilsson S (1983) Atlas of airborne fungal spores in Europe. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
Oliveira M, Ribeiro H, Abreu I (2005) Annual variation of fungal spores in the atmosphere of Porto: 2003. Ann Agric Environ Med 12:309–315PubMedGoogle Scholar