Correlation of spring spore concentrations and meteorological conditions in Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Different spore types are abundant in the atmosphere depending on the weather conditions. Ascospores generally follow precipitation, while spore types such as Alternaria and Cladosporium are abundant in dry conditions. This project attempted to correlate fungal spore concentrations with meteorological data from Tulsa, Oklahoma during May 1998 and May 1999. Air samples were collected and analyzed by the 12-traverse method. The spore types included were Cladosporium, Alternaria, Epicoccum, Curvularia, Pithomyces, Drechslera, smut spores, ascospores, basidiospores, and other spores. Weather variables included precipitation levels, temperature, dew point, air pressure, wind speed, wind direction and wind gusts. There were over 242.57 mm of rainfall in May 1999 and only 64.01 mm in May 1998. The most abundant spore types during May 1998 and May 1999 were Cladosporium, ascospores, and basidiospores. Results showed that there were significant differences in the dry-air spora between May 1998 and May 1999. There were twice as many Cladosporium in May 1998 as in May 1999; both ascospores and basidiospores showed little change. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine which meteorological variables influenced spore concentrations. Results showed that there was no single model for all spore types. Different combinations of factors were predictors of concentration for the various fungi examined; however, temperature and dew point seemed to be the most important meteorological factors.
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