Aerobiological modeling I: A review of predictive models: Aerobiological predictive models, a review

Andrés M. Vélez-Pereira*, Concepción De Linares, Jordina Belmonte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The present work is the first of two reviews on applied modeling in the field of aerobiology. The aerobiological predictive models for pollen and fungal spores, usually defined as predictive statistical models, will, amongst other objectives, forecast airborne particles' concentration or dynamical behavior of the particles. These models can be classified into Observation Based Models (OBM), Phenological Based Models (PHM), or OTher Models (OTM). The aim of this review is to show, analyze and discuss the different predictive models used in pollen and spore aerobiological studies. The analysis was performed on published electronic scientific articles from 1998 to 2016 related to the type of model, the taxa and the modelled parameters. From a total of 503 studies, 55.5% used OBM (44.8% on pollen and 10.7% on fungal spores), 38.5% PHM (all on pollen) and 6% OTM (5.4% on pollen and 0.6% on fungal spores). OBM have been used with high frequency to forecast concentration. The most frequent model of OBM was linear regression (18.5% out of 503) on pollen and artificial neural networks (4.6%) on fungal spores. In the PHM, the principal use was to characterize the main pollen season (flowering season) based on the model of growth degree days. Finally, OTM have been used to estimate concentrations at unmonitored areas. Olea (14,5%) on pollen and Alternaria (4,8%) on fungal spores were the taxa most frequently modelled. Daily concentration was the most modelled parameter by OBM (25.2%) and season start day by PHM (35.6%). The PHM approaches include greater model diversity and use fewer independent variables than OBM. In addition, PHM show to be easier to apply than OBM; however, the wide range of criteria to define the parameters to use in PHM (e.g.: pollination start day) makes that each model is used with a lesser frequency than other models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148783
JournalScience of the total environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021


  • Aerobiology
  • Airborne fungal spores
  • Airborne pollen
  • Forecasting model
  • Phenological model
  • Statistical model


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