Pollen Dispersion in Relation to Meteorological Conditions, Seasonality, Location and Elevation in College Station, Texas, USA
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Pollen deposition has an immense effect on air quality and human health. There is new interest linking biogenic aerosols to possibly being cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). This field experiment focuses on pollen emission in relation to local meteorological factors, including temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, pressure, rain, wind speed and wind direction. A biological microscope was used for identification of possible common species in College Station, Texas. Insight into the vertical and horizontal transport of pollen was achieved through time varying analysis of pollen count and concentration, and comparing ground-level and rooftop measurements. Pollen was collected almost daily between September and November 2011 and in March 2012 using Rotorod Model 20 samplers. During the fall campaign, a sampler and a weather station were both set up on the roof of the Eller Oceanography & Meteorology building (O&M) on Texas A&M University's (TAMU) campus. For the spring campaign, pollen was sampled at three locations; a sampler, sonic anemometer, and weather station were set up on the roof of O&M, another sampler was set up at ground-level of O&M, and the third sampler and a second weather station were located at TAMU Research Farm to provide a rural comparison. The concentrations of the most common types of pollen were counted and identified under a light microscope and correlated with meteorological factors. Results showed ragweed (Ambrosia) to be more prominent during the fall, the average pollen grains/m3 on the roof to be considerably higher during the spring, and more species during the spring. The concentration of pollen grains decreases with increasing elevation. Farm concentration was far less than at O&M. Concentration of pollen seems to have a positive correlation with solar radiation, temperature, relative humidity, pressure, and wind speed, but more study needs to be done.
Huang, Kristen (2012). Pollen Dispersion in Relation to Meteorological Conditions, Seasonality, Location and Elevation in College Station, Texas, USA. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from