Pollen season trends (1973-2013) in Stockholm area, Sweden

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Abstract

In the present study, the phenological and quantitative changes in the pollen seasons between 1973 and 2013 in the Stockholm region of Sweden were studied for nine types of pollen (hazel, alder, elm, birch, oak, grass, mugwort, willow and pine). Linear regression models were used to estimate the long term trends in duration, start- and end-dates, peakvalues and the yearly accumulated pollen sums of the pollen seasons. The pollen seasons of several arboreal plant species (e.g. birch, oak and pine) were found to start significantly earlier today compared to 41 years earlier, and have an earlier peak-date, while the season of other species seemed largely unaffected. However, the long term trends in the end-dates of pollen seasons differed between arboreal and herbaceous species. For herbaceous species (grass and mugwort), a significant change towards later end-dates was observed and the duration of season was found to have increased. A significant trend towards an earlier end-date was found in the majority of the arboreal plant species (i.e. elm, oak, pine and birch), but the length of the season seemed unaffected. A trend towards an increase in yearly concentrations of pollen was observed for several species; however the reasons for this phenomenon cannot be explained unambiguously by the present study design. The trend of increasing yearly mean air temperatures in the Stockholm area may be the reason to changed phenological patterns of pollen seasons.

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Lind, T., Ekebom, A., Kübler, K. A., Ostensson, P., Bellander, T., & Lõhmus, M. (2016). Pollen season trends (1973-2013) in Stockholm area, Sweden. PLoS ONE, 11(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0166887

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