A brief method for analyzing Rotorod® samples for pollen content
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Analyzing Rotorod® pollen samples can be time consuming when one uses the standard method of evaluating an entire collector rod. This present investigation explored an abbreviated analysis method which is indicated by Poisson statistical theory. The authors systematically analyzed 18 Rotorod pollen samples from Spring 1994 which contained 408–7394 pollen grains per rod. The atmospheric pollen concentration (pollen grains/m3) was calculated from the number of pollen grains contained on the entire rod surface (Ptotal) and a sub-area containing at least 400 grains (P>400). The estimate of the atmospheric pollen concentration resulting from Ptotal and P>400 for each rod did not vary by more than ±9% (mean, 2.0%±3.7). These data indicate that pollen grains populated the sample rods rather uniformly, suggesting a mode of random recovery from the atmosphere. This study's results are consistent with the expectations concerning a Poisson process and support analyzing collector rods until a threshold number of pollen grains is counted.
KeywordsRotorod Sampler Pollen grains Poisson statistics Aerobiology
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