, 24:211 | Cite as

Sources, impact and exchange of early-spring birch pollen in the Moscow region and Finland

  • Pilvi SiljamoEmail author
  • Mikhail Sofiev
  • Elena Severova
  • Hanna Ranta
  • Jaakko Kukkonen
  • Svetlana Polevova
  • Eero Kubin
  • Alexander Minin
Original Paper


The paper presents an assessment of birch pollen seasons in Finland and Russia. The re-analysis covered the period from 1994 to 2005 and was focused on suspected long-range transport events that were recorded both in Moscow and at several Finnish sites. In order to trace the origin of airborne pollen before the onset of local pollination, we used both aerobiological and phenological observations combined with forward and adjoint (inverse) dispersion model simulations. It is shown that, although the Moscow region is surrounded by extensive birch forests, it still receives substantial amounts of foreign pollen before local pollination. In the Moscow region, the sources of long-range-transported pollen are in the south and south-west, sometimes even in the east. In Finland, there are frequently cases, before the local flowering season, in which Finnish territory receives Russian pollen; however in the opposite direction, from Finland to the Moscow region, no transport episodes were unequivocally registered. Analysis of the end of the seasons was more problematic, due to contributions to pollen observations from local sources; this results in difficulties in the reliable identification of the long-range transport episodes. Apart from its short-term effects on the pollen seasons, long-range transport can have substantial impacts on the exchange of genetic material within Europe. A quick atmospheric pathway for gene transport can be important for adaptation of plants to a changing climate.


Atmospheric transport Betula Footprint Gene flow Inverse simulations Pollen transport 



The study was performed within the scope of the POLLEN project of the Academy of Finland. The pollen forecasts and re-analyses were also supported by the ESA-PROMOTE Service Element of GMES. The support of the COST Action ES0603 (assessment of production, release, distribution and health impact of allergenic pollen in Europe) is also appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pilvi Siljamo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mikhail Sofiev
    • 1
  • Elena Severova
    • 2
  • Hanna Ranta
    • 3
  • Jaakko Kukkonen
    • 1
  • Svetlana Polevova
    • 2
  • Eero Kubin
    • 4
  • Alexander Minin
    • 5
  1. 1.Finnish Meteorological InstituteHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Biological FacultyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  4. 4.Finnish Forest Research Institute, Muhos Research StationMuhosFinland
  5. 5.Institute of Global Climate and EcologyEcological Centre PasvaMoscowRussia

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