, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 111–122 | Cite as

Airborne pollen records and their potential applications to the conservation of biodiversity

  • Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares
  • Jordina BelmonteEmail author
  • Martí Boada
  • Sara Fraixedas
Review Paper


The magnitude and complexity of the current erosion of plant biodiversity call for the development of interdisciplinary tools that enable an early detection of its effects and the establishment of effective management strategies. Indeed, plant sciences face the complex task of identifying the ecological information needed for the conservation challenge. Along this line should be placed the approach of aerobiology to gather the essential information for the development of plant recovery guidelines. In this work, we aim to discuss the potential role of airborne pollen monitoring in providing relevant data for the protection of plants and its potential applications to the management of plant diversity. To this end, we review three study cases where aerobiological monitoring can provide significant insights on conservation science. The present study is a contribution to plant conservation biology through long-term aeropalynological sampling, on the basis that pollen records constitute a suitable indicator for evaluating resource conservation of vegetation responding to environmental fluctuations. In view of its position between botany and meteorology, the contribution of aerobiological knowledge to biodiversity conservation can be very relevant and should be explored thoroughly.


Plant conservation Climate change Biogeography Pollen counts Pollen transport Genetic diversity 



The authors wish to thank to different projects and entities for financing this study: COST ES0603 EUPOL; Laboratorios LETI S.A.; European Commission for “ENV4-CT98-0755”; Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology I + D+I for “AMB97-0457-CO7-021”, “REN2001-10659-CO3-01”, “CGL2004-21166-E”, “CGL2005-07543/CLI”, “CGL2009-11205” and “CONSOLIDER CSD 2007_00067 GRACCIE”; and Catalan Government AGAUR for “2002SGR00059”, “2005SGR00519” and “2009SGR1102”. We also thank our colleagues Paloma Cariñanos, from the University of Granada, and Concepción De Linares, from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, for their countless help during manuscript preparation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jordina Belmonte
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Martí Boada
    • 1
  • Sara Fraixedas
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA), Edifici C, Torre C5-parells, 4a plantaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterra, Cerdanyola del Vallès, BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Departament de Biologia Animal, Biologia Vegetal i EcologiaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterra, Cerdanyola del Vallès, BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.The Helsinki Lab of Ornithology (HelLO), Finnish Museum of Natural HistoryUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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