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Copenhagen – a significant source of birch (Betula) pollen?

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Current aerobiological research applies the hypothesis that the main source of atmospheric birch (Betula) pollen is forest trees. Our results indicate that the measured levels in Copenhagen are not only due to birch trees in Danish forests but that the urban areas also seem to be a significant source of birch pollen. A number of episodes in 2003 with enhanced pollen levels in Copenhagen seem to be associated with parks and gardens inside and just outside the city. Our results also indicate one long-range transport episode from remote sources in Poland and Germany. Finally, our results show that the pollen levels vary considerably over the day and geographically between Copenhagen and the city of Roskilde, 40 km away. We suggest, that these differences in time and space in the pollen levels are mapped using an integrated monitoring strategy.

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This study was partly funded by the Copenhagen Global Change Initiative (COGCI) Research School (, and the National Board of Health Project: “Country-wide pollen forecasts”.

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Correspondence to Carsten Ambelas Skjøth.

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Skjøth, C.A., Sommer, J., Brandt, J. et al. Copenhagen – a significant source of birch (Betula) pollen?. Int J Biometeorol 52, 453–462 (2008).

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