Atmospheric concentrations of Alternaria, Cladosporium, Ganoderma and Didymella spores monitored in Cork (Ireland) and Worcester (England) during the summer of 2010
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This study represents the first international intercomparison of fungal spore observations since 1990, focusing on atmospheric concentrations of Alternaria, Cladosporium, Ganoderma and Didymella spores. The campaigns were performed at sites located in Cork (Ireland) and Worcester (England) during summer 2010. Observations were made using Hirst-type volumetric spore traps and corresponding optical identification at the genus level by microscope. The measurements at both sites (including meteorological parameters) were compared and contrasted. The relationships between the fungal spore concentrations with selected meteorological parameters were investigated using statistical methods and multivariate regression trees (MRT). The results showed high correlations between the two sites with respect to daily variations. Statistically significant higher spore concentrations for Alternaria, Cladosporium and Ganoderma were monitored at the Worcester site. This result was most likely due to the differences in precipitation and local fungal spore sources at the two sites. Alternaria and Cladosporium reached their maxima a month earlier in Cork than in Worcester, and Didymella with Ganoderma peaked simultaneously with similar diurnal trends found for all the investigated spore types. MRT analysis helped to determine threshold values of the meteorological parameters that exerted most influence on the presence of spores: they were found to vary at the two sites. Our results suggest that the aeromycological profile is quite uniform over the British Isles, but a description of bioaerosols with respect to overall load and daily concentration can be quite diverse although the geographical difference between sites is relatively small. These variations in the concentrations therefore need to be explored at the national level.
KeywordsAerobiology Fungal spores Air monitoring Meteorological parameters Outdoor environment Multivariate regression tree
We would like to thank University College Cork (Ireland) and the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit at the University of Worcester (England) for jointly funding this project. We would also like to thank Beverley-Adams Groom and Dr. Danuta Stępalska for providing individual training in the process of fungal spore identification. We would like to thank Dr. Agnieszka Strzelczak and Dr. Agnieszka Grinn-Gofroń for providing training in the construction of Multivariate Regression Tree models. Finally, thanks go to Evelyn and Barry Healy for providing the secure Cork monitoring site.
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