Quercus pollen season dynamics in the Iberian Peninsula: Response to meteorological parameters and possible consequences of climate change

Herminia García-Mozo, Carmen Galán, Victoria Jato, Jordina Belmonte, Consuelo Díaz De La Guardia, Delia Fernández, Montserrat Gutiérrez, M. Jesús Aira, Joan M. Roure, Luis Ruiz, M. Mar Trigo, Eugenio Domínguez-Vilches

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114 Citations (Scopus)


The main characteristics of the Quercus pollination season were studied in 14 different localities of the Iberian Peninsula from 1992-2004. Results show that Quercus flowering season has tended to start earlier in recent years, probably due to the increased temperatures in the pre-flowering period, detected at study sites over the second half of the 20th century. A Growing Degree Days forecasting model was used, together with future meteorological data forecast using the Regional Climate Model developed by the Hadley Meteorological Centre, in order to determine the expected advance in the start of Quercus pollination in future years. At each study site, airborne pollen curves presented a similar pattern in all study years, with different peaks over the season attributable in many cases to the presence of several species. High pollen concentrations were recorded, particularly at Mediterranean sites. This study also proposes forecasting models to predict both daily pollen values and annual pollen emission. All models were externally validated using data for 2001 and 2004, with acceptable results. Finally, the impact of the highly-likely climate change on Iberian Quercus pollen concentration values was studied by applying RCM meteorological data for different future years, 2025, 2050, 2075 and 2099. Results indicate that under a doubled CO2 scenario at the end of the 21st century Quercus pollination season could start on average one month earlier and airborne pollen concentrations will increase by 50% with respect to current levels, with higher values in Mediterranean inland areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-224
JournalAnnals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


  • Aerobiology
  • Allergy
  • Climate change
  • Forestry
  • Growing Degree Days
  • Oaks
  • Pollen
  • Predictive models
  • Quercus


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