Variability and geographical origin of five years airborne fungal spore concentrations measured at Saclay, France from 2014 to 2018

Roland Sarda-Estève, Dominique Baisnée, Benjamin Guinot, John Sodeau, David O'Connor, Jordina Belmonte, Jean Pierre Besancenot, Jean Eudes Petit, Michel Thibaudon, Gilles Oliver, Charlotte Sindt, Valérie Gros

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13 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 by the authors. Airborne fungal spores (AFS) represent the major fraction of primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs), and they are studied worldwide largely due to their important role within the Earth system. They have an impact on climate and human health, and they contribute to the propagation of diseases. As their presence in the air depends largely on studied ecosystems, a spore trap was used to monitor their atmospheric concentrations from 2014 to December 2018 in Saclay, a suburban area in the megacity of Paris. The main objective of this work was: (1) to understand the atmospheric variability of AFS in relation to different variables such as meteorological factors, agricultural practice, and (2) to identify their geographical origin by using a source receptor model. During our period of observation, 30 taxa have been identified under a light microscope. In order of importance, Ascospores, Cladosporium, Basidiospores, Tilletiopsis, Alternaria were found to be the most abundant types respectively (50.8%, 33.6%, 7.6%, 1.8%, and 1.3%) accounting for 95% of the atmospheric concentrations. We observed a general decrease associated with a strong interannual variability. A bimodal seasonal cycle was identified with a first maximum in July and a second in October. The main parameters driving the atmospheric concentration are temperature and precipitation. The daily variability is strongly activated by successive periods of hot weather and rainfall, multiplying the concentration by a factor of 1000 in less than 12 hours. Results from the source receptor model ZeFir point out unambiguous different origins of AFS due to specific sources impacting the observation site. Our study also indicated that a hydrological stress has a direct effect on the daily concentrations. This last point should be taken into account for every stressed ecosystem studied in a global warming context. This is particularly important for Mediterranean areas where water is a key control of the growth and dispersion of fungal spores.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1671
JournalRemote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Airborne fungal spores
  • Hydrological stress
  • Meteorological factors
  • Pathogen transport
  • Polluted environments
  • Source receptor model


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