Allergenic pollen concentrations in the United Kingdom

Jones, Sandra (1995) Allergenic pollen concentrations in the United Kingdom. Doctoral thesis, University of North London.


This study investigates the variations in the start and severity of the grass and birch pollen seasons at a network of sites in the United Kingdom. Daily grass and birch pollen concentrations have been monitored during the course of the study (1992-1994) at the University of North London site. Retrospective pollen data of up to 30 years in length at London, Cardiff and Derby has been incorporated into the database, along with between 2 and 7 years of retrospective data from 7 other European Aeroallergen Network(UK) sites. Annual grass and birch pollen concentrations, start of season dates and seasonal severities have been identified and analysed in relation to meteorological conditions and local pollen source areas. Variations have been found at the individual sites from year to year, and between the different sites in the same year. Multiple regression analysis has been used on the long term data sets at London, Cardiff and Derby to produce forecast models to enable the prediction of the start of the season and total seasonal grass and birch pollen concentrations at the 3 sites. Data from the other EAN(UK) sites has been incorporated into these models to assess their use on a regional basis. This research has relevance within many subject areas. The long term data sets on which a large part of the thesis is based are of great interest to Aerobiologists in the identification of long term trends in pollen data. The research has relevance to Quaternary palynologists interested in the influence of the source area on the pollen catch. The influence of climate on the seasonal variation of grass species will be of interest to Agriculturalists, Ecologists and Biogeographers. Finally, through the accurate forecasting of the start and severity of the grass and birch pollen seasons, hayfever sufferers are able to have increased knowledge, and therefore may be able to avoid the amount of medical consultation required by means of prophylactic treatment. The research is unique in that it is the first study to be conducted on the UK pollen databank. It is also unique research in that data sets of this length do not exist anywhere else in Europe and probably the world, and therefore this study poses an important piece of research both on a national and an international level.

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