Pollen spectrum and allergy risk in Spain
rm statistically a possiblerelationship between daily pollen concentrations and thedifferent meteorological parameters, such as rainfall, tem-perature (maximum, minimum and mean), and sunshine, anon-parametric Spearman’s correlation test was performed.A non-parametric correlation analysis was used since thedata are not normally distributed. This test was used in orderto detect the possible signi
uence of some meteoro-logical variables on the pollen variation during the Pre-Peak period (PP). SPSS 15.0® software package was used.
The average annual Pollen Indexobtained in Toledo during the period under study (2003–2007) was 44,632 (Tab. 2). The highest value (56,000) wasrecorded in 2007 and the lowest (29,826) in 2004.During these years, the highest pollen amounts wereregistered between February–May, when annual amountsrange between 70–90% of the whole annual amount(Fig. 1). Average daily concentrations in this period are over1,000 pg/m
on some days (Fig. 2), reaching their maximumamount on 1 May 2005 (2,337 pg/m
). The month with themaximum annual pollen concentration varies according tothe year (Tab. 2): it was March in 2003 (14,545 pg/m
; 34%of total annual pollen) and April in 2004 (6,217 pg/m
; 20.8%of total annual pollen), while it was May in the remainderyears (18,103 pg/m
, 33.6% of total annual pollen in 2005;14,281 pg/m
, 35.1% of total annual pollen in 2006; and15,587 pg/m
, 27.8% of total annual pollen in 2007). Theperiod between September–December is that showing thelowest pollen concentration (levels remain below 1% of total annual pollen concentration).The evolution of pollen concentration show the differ-ent peaks reached year by year (Fig. 2 and 3), mainly dueto the pollen contribution of Cupressaceae in February–March,
in April, and Poaceae and
betweenMay–June. From mid- and late June, pollen concentrationsundergo considerable reduction, as no signi
cant peak isobserved. However, small amounts of pollen are present inthe atmosphere from the end of the summer from Chenopo-diaceae-Amaranthaceae species, and the autumn
and some Cupressaceae species between Oc-tober and December.The most relevant pollen types during this period, in or-der of quantitative importance, are: Cupressaceae (23.3%of the total amount of pollen grains),
(21.2%), andPoaceae and
(11.5% and 11.2%, respectively) (Tab.3), showing wide inter-year variations in total amount,main pollen season, length of the pollen season, and maxi-mum daily values (Tables 3 and 4). To a lesser extent, wehave registered pollen from other species, such as
(1.9%).Regarding herbaceous species, apart from Poaceae, therestand out the pollen types Urticaceae (5.4%) and Chenopo-diaceae-Amaranthaceae (1.7%). The maximum daily values
Mean Temperatures (ºC) and Rainfall (mm) for each year andseasons from 2003 to 2007.Tª (ºC)Rainfall (mm) SeasonWinter8.276Spring18.5492003Summer26.66Autumn12.9172
Amaranthaceae, Poaceae). For arboreal taxa, from 25–50pg/m
(Ulmaceae) and from 50–200 pg/m
for the remain-der species (Cupressaceae,
). The category ‘highly allergenic levels’ wasgiven to cases above these values.
The data of the different climaticvariables analysed – maximum, minimum and averagetemperature (ºC); rainfall (mm); maximum, minimum andaverage pressure (mb); evapotranspiration (mm); windspeed (km/s); and sunshine hours – were provided by theToledo-Buenavista meteorological station, located 2 kmfrom the spore trap, through the database of the SpanishState Meteorological Agency (AEMET). Rather irregularinter-annual rainfall patterns were observed along this pe-riod (2003–2007); 2003 and 2005 were the driest years,showing very low rainfall values (303 and 156 mm, respec-tively), remaining far below the average value (382 mm).Regarding temperature, the values have been rather similarin summer and autumn (except a warmer autumn in 2006),and lower values were obtained for spring in 2004 and 2007(15.5–15.8 ºC), and winter in 2005 and 2006 (Tab. 1).