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Pollen season and climate: Is the timing of birch pollen release in the UK approaching its limit?

Newnham, R. M.; Sparks, T. H.; Skjoth, Carsten LU ; Head, K.; Adams-Groom, B. and Smith, M. (2013) In International Journal of Biometeorology 57(3). p.391-400
Abstract
In light of heightened interest in the response of pollen phenology to temperature, we investigated recent changes to the onset of Betula (birch) pollen seasons in central and southern England, including a test of predicted advancement of the Betula pollen season for London. We calculated onset of birch pollen seasons using daily airborne pollen data obtained at London, Plymouth and Worcester, determined trends in the start of the pollen season and compared timing of the birch pollen season with observed temperature patterns for the period 1995-2010. We found no overall change in the onset of birch pollen in the study period although there was evidence that the response to temperature was nonlinear and that a lower asymptotic start of the... (More)
In light of heightened interest in the response of pollen phenology to temperature, we investigated recent changes to the onset of Betula (birch) pollen seasons in central and southern England, including a test of predicted advancement of the Betula pollen season for London. We calculated onset of birch pollen seasons using daily airborne pollen data obtained at London, Plymouth and Worcester, determined trends in the start of the pollen season and compared timing of the birch pollen season with observed temperature patterns for the period 1995-2010. We found no overall change in the onset of birch pollen in the study period although there was evidence that the response to temperature was nonlinear and that a lower asymptotic start of the pollen season may exist. The start of the birch pollen season was strongly correlated with March mean temperature. These results reinforce previous findings showing that the timing of the birch pollen season in the UK is particularly sensitive to spring temperatures. The climate relationship shown here persists over both longer decadal-scale trends and shorter, seasonal trends as well as during periods of 'sign-switching' when cooler spring temperatures result in later start dates. These attributes, combined with the wide geographical coverage of airborne pollen monitoring sites, some with records extending back several decades, provide a powerful tool for the detection of climate change impacts, although local site factors and the requirement for winter chilling may be confounding factors. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Betula pollen, London, Plymouth, Worcester, Phenology, Climate change, Vernalisation
in
International Journal of Biometeorology
volume
57
issue
3
pages
391 - 400
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000317474400007
  • scopus:84876123685
ISSN
1432-1254
DOI
10.1007/s00484-012-0563-5
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
23145fbb-8083-4c2f-9758-e2337be6e2ea (old id 3738992)
date added to LUP
2013-05-22 13:26:39
date last changed
2019-03-05 02:40:26
@article{23145fbb-8083-4c2f-9758-e2337be6e2ea,
  abstract     = {In light of heightened interest in the response of pollen phenology to temperature, we investigated recent changes to the onset of Betula (birch) pollen seasons in central and southern England, including a test of predicted advancement of the Betula pollen season for London. We calculated onset of birch pollen seasons using daily airborne pollen data obtained at London, Plymouth and Worcester, determined trends in the start of the pollen season and compared timing of the birch pollen season with observed temperature patterns for the period 1995-2010. We found no overall change in the onset of birch pollen in the study period although there was evidence that the response to temperature was nonlinear and that a lower asymptotic start of the pollen season may exist. The start of the birch pollen season was strongly correlated with March mean temperature. These results reinforce previous findings showing that the timing of the birch pollen season in the UK is particularly sensitive to spring temperatures. The climate relationship shown here persists over both longer decadal-scale trends and shorter, seasonal trends as well as during periods of 'sign-switching' when cooler spring temperatures result in later start dates. These attributes, combined with the wide geographical coverage of airborne pollen monitoring sites, some with records extending back several decades, provide a powerful tool for the detection of climate change impacts, although local site factors and the requirement for winter chilling may be confounding factors.},
  author       = {Newnham, R. M. and Sparks, T. H. and Skjoth, Carsten and Head, K. and Adams-Groom, B. and Smith, M.},
  issn         = {1432-1254},
  keyword      = {Betula pollen,London,Plymouth,Worcester,Phenology,Climate change,Vernalisation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {391--400},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {International Journal of Biometeorology},
  title        = {Pollen season and climate: Is the timing of birch pollen release in the UK approaching its limit?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00484-012-0563-5},
  volume       = {57},
  year         = {2013},
}