Changes in the concentration of pollen over an 11-year period in a Polish urban environment

Barbara Majkowska-Wojciechowska, Zofia Balwierz, Marek L. Kowalski


Recent studies suggest that climate change can influence plant reproductive systems and have an impact on the increase in allergenic pollen in atmospheric air; highly allergenic pollen may intensify the allergic response in people. The aim of our study was to evaluate the seasonal dynamic concentration of the most allergenic pollen taxa, i.e., the following trees: Alnus, Corylus, Betula, and herbaceous plants: grasses (Poaceae), Artemisia, and Ambrosia, in the long-term period of 2003–2013 in the city of Lodz, Poland. Weekly airborne pollen concentrations were evaluated with a volumetric Lansoni pollen trap. The beginning and the end of the season were calculated by the 98% method. The birch (Betula) pollen was at the highest level and accounted for 79%, followed by alder (Alnus) – 19%, and hazel (Corylus) – 2%. Among the herbaceous taxa, grasses (Poaceae) pollen dominated – 79%, followed by mugwort (Artemisia) – 18%, and ragweed (Ambrosia) – 3%. Our findings indicate a lack of qualitative and quantitative change in the pollen produced over the 11-year period.


allergenic pollen; pollen concentration; Alnus; Corylus; Betula; Poaceae; Ambrosia; Artemisia

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