Aeropalynology of Australian native arboreal species in Brisbane, Australia
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The influence of meteorological parameters on airborne pollen of Australian native arboreal species was investigated in the sub-tropical city of Brisbane, Australia over the five-year period, June 1994-May 1999. Australian native arboreal pollen (ANAP), shed by taxa belonging to the families Cupressaceae, Casuarinaceae and Myrtaceae accounts for 18.4% of the total annual pollen count and is distributed in the atmosphere during the entire year with maximum loads restricted to the months May through November. Daily counts within the range 11-100 grains m-3 occurred over short intervals each year and were recorded on 100 days during the five-year sampling period. Total seasonal ANAP concentrations varied each year, with highest annual values measured for the family Cupressaceae, for which greater seasonal frequencies were shown to be related to pre-seasonal precipitation (r2 = 0.76, p = 0.05). Seasonal start dates were near consistent for the Cupressaceae and Casuarinaceae. Myrtaceae start dates were variable and established to be directly related to lower average pre-seasonal maximum temperature (r2 = 0.78, p = 0.04). Associations between daily ANAP loads and weather parameters showed that densities of airborne Cupressaceae and Casuarinaceae pollen were negatively correlated with maximum temperature (p < 0.0001), minimum temperature (p < 0.0001) and precipitation (p < 0.05), whereas associations with daily Myrtaceae pollen counts were not statistically significant. This is the first study to be conducted in Australia that has assessed the relationships between weather parameters and the airborne distribution of pollen emitted by Australian native arboreal species. Pollen shed by Australian native Cupressaceae, Casuarinaceae and Myrtaceae species are considered to be important aeroallergens overseas, however their significance as a sensitising source in Australia remains unclear and requires further investigation.