Browsing by Subject "pollen"

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  • Bohlmann, Stephanie (Ilmatieteen laitos - Finnish Meteorological Institute, 2021)
    Finnish Meteorological Institute Contributions 175
    Atmospheric pollen is a well-known health threat causing allergy-related diseases. As a biogenic aerosol, pollen also affects the climate by directly absorbing and scattering solar radiation and by acting as cloud condensation or ice nuclei. A good understanding of pollen distribution and transport mechanisms is needed to evaluate the environmental and health impacts of pollen. However, pollen observations are usually performed close to ground and vertical information, which could be used to evaluate and improve pollen transport models, is widely missing. In this thesis, the applicability of lidar measurements to detect pollen in the atmosphere is investigated. For this purpose, measurements of the multiwavelength Raman polarization lidar PollyXT at the rural forest site in Vehmasmäki (Kuopio), Eastern Finland have been utilized. The depolarization ratio was identified to be the most valuable optical property for the detection of atmospheric pollen, as nonspherical pollen like pine and spruce pollen causes high depolarization ratios. However, detected depolarization ratios coincide with typical values for dusty mixtures and additional information such as backward trajectories need to be considered to ensure the absence of other depolarizing aerosols like dust. To separate pollen from background aerosol, a method to estimate the optical properties of pure pollen using lidar measurements was developed. Under the assumption that the Ångström exponent of pure pollen is zero, the depolarization ratio of pure pollen can be estimated. Depolarization ratios for birch and pine pollen at 355 and 532 nm were determined and suggested a wavelength dependence of the depolarization ratio. To further investigate this wavelength dependence, the possibility to use depolarization measurements of Halo Doppler lidars (1565 nm) was explored. In the lower troposphere, Halo Doppler lidars can provide reasonable depolarization values with comparable quality to PollyXT measurements. Finally, measurements of PollyXT and a Halo StreamLine Doppler lidar were used to determine the depolarization ratio at three wavelengths. A wavelength dependence of the particle depolarization ratio with maximum depolarization at 532 nm was found. This could be a characteristic feature of non-spherical pollen and the key to distinguish pollen from other depolarizing aerosol types.
  • Shala, Shyhrete; Helmens, Karin F.; Luoto, Tomi P.; Salonen, J. Sakari; Väliranta, Minna; Weckström, Jan (2017)
    Four biotic proxies (plant macrofossils, pollen, chironomids and diatoms) are employed to quantitatively reconstruct variations in mean July air temperatures (T-jul) at Lake Loitsana (northern Finland) during the Holocene. The aim is to evaluate the robustness and biases in these temperature reconstructions and to compare the timing of highest T-jul in the individual reconstructions. The reconstructed T-jul values are evaluated in relation to local-scale/site-specific processes associated with the Holocene lake development at Loitsana as these factors have been shown to significantly influence the fossil assemblages found in the Lake Loitsana sediments. While pollen-based temperatures follow the classical trend of gradually increasing early-Holocene T-jul with a mid-Holocene maximum, the aquatic/wetland assemblages reconstruct higher-than-present T-jul already during the early Holocene, that is, at the peak of summer insolation. The relatively low early-Holocene July temperatures recorded by the pollen are the result of site-specific factors possibly combined with a delayed response of the terrestrial ecosystem compared with the aquatic ecosystem. Our study shows that all reconstructions are influenced at least to some extent by local factors. This finding stresses the need to evaluate quantitatively reconstructed climate values against local lake development and highlights the benefit of using multi-proxy data in Holocene climate reconstructions.
  • Luomajoki, Alpo (The Society of Forestry in Finland - The Finnish Forest Research Institute, 1999)
    Male flowering was studied at the canopy level in 10 silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) stands from 8 localities and in 14 downy birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.) stands from 10 localities in Finland from 1963 to 1973. Distributions of cumulative pollen catches were compared to the normal Gaussian distribution. The basis for the timing of flowering was the 50 per cent point of the anthesis-fitted normal distribution. To eliminate effects of background pollen, only the central, normally distributed part of the cumulative distribution was used. Development up to the median point of the distribution was measured and tested in calendar days, in degree days (> 5 °C) and in period units. The count of each parameter began on and included March 19. Male flowering in silver birch occurred from late April to late June depending on latitude, and flowering in downy birch took place from early May to early July. The heat sums needed for male flowering varied in downy birch stands latitudinally but there was practically no latitudinal variation in heat sums needed for silver birch flowering. The amount of male flowering in stands of both birch species were found to have a large annual variation but without any clear periodicity. The between years pollen catch variation in stands of either birch species did not show any significant latitudinal correlation in contrast to Norway spruce stands. The period unit heat sum gave the most accurate forecast of the timing of flowering for 60 per cent of the silver birch stands and for 78.6 per cent of the for downy birch stands. Calendar days, however, gave the best forecast for silver birch in 25 per cent of the cases, while degree days gave the best forecast for downy birch in 21.4 per cent of the cases. Silver birch seems to have a local inclination for a more fixed flowering date compared to downy birch, which could mean a considerable photoperiodic influence on flowering time of silver birch. Silver birch and downy birch had different geographical correlations. Frequent hybridization of birch species occurs more often in northern Finland in than in more southern latitudes. The different timing in flowering caused increasing scatter in flowering times in the north, especially in the case of downy birch. The chance of simultaneous flowering of silver birch and downy birch so increased northwards due to a more variable climate and also higher altitudinal variations. Compared with conifers, the reproduction cycles of both birch species were found to be well protected from damage by frost.
  • Lehtinen, Markku T.; Pulkkinen, Pertti (2017)
    In Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), it has been shown that the parental conditions have a role in the phenological variation among first-year seedlings. For this reason, it is argued that they should be comprehensively controlled before estimating the parental genotype effects. This controlled-cross study examined the effects of a set of fathers of Scots pines on the timing of budset and autumn frost hardening of first-year seedlings. The paternal genotypes had either a northern or southern provenance, but had spent a period of over 25 years as grafts in a shared climatic environment in two closely located southern orchards. Pollen applied in the crosses was collected from these orchards in one year and all the maternal genotypes were pollinated in only one seed orchard. The results of freeze tests and budset observations of the consequent progeny were analysed and additionally compared with results obtained using seedlings from seed lots of natural forests in order to estimate the ability of northern paternal genotypes to maintain a northern effect under southern conditions. This environmentally controlled study demonstrated a significant effect of the paternal genotype on the budset and autumn frost hardening of first-year seedling of Scots pine. With the applied study design, no significant indication of an environmental influence on the effect of the paternal genotype was obtained. The accuracy of the observations is discussed. It is concluded that the results suggest a minor role of mutability in the effects of Scots pine paternal genotypes.
  • Lindgren, Katarina; Lindgren, Dag (The Finnish Society of Forest Science and The Finnish Forest Research Institute, 1996)
    Germination of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) pollen decreased during exposure to open air conditions. Usually more than half of the pollen remained germinable after a few days outdoors, but following more than four days outdoors the germination became very low. This study supports the opinion that pollen in the atmosphere remains viable long enough to allow for long-distance gene flow by pollen migration, as an important factor in genetic management of conifers and in evolution, maintaining diversity and potential for adaptation.
  • Fakhimzadeh, K.; Lodenius, M. (Karolinum-Nakladatelstvi Univerzity Karlovy, 2000)
  • Seddon, Alistair W. R.; Festi, Daniela; Nieuwkerk, Mayke; Gya, Ragnhild; Hamre, Borge; Kruger, Linn Cecilie; Ostman, Silje A. H.; Robson, T. Matthew (2021)
    Research indicates that phenolic compounds (e.g. para-coumaric acid) found within pollen grains may be useful as a proxy to reconstruct the UV-B radiation received at the Earth's surface in the geological past. However, application of this method to the plant-fossil record currently relies on a series of untested assumptions surrounding the ecological factors driving the response of pollen grains in the contemporary environment. Here, we investigate the relationship of Pinus spp. pollen to UV-B radiation using individuals of five populations sampled from three elevation gradients across Europe. We develop a novel radiation-modelling approach, which allows us to estimate the UV-B radiation dose of individual trees, weighted by different UV-B action spectra. We then use linear mixed-effects modelling to investigate: (a) whether the variations in UV-B-absorbing compounds in Pinus pollen are best described by models using coarser (subgenus) or finer (population) taxonomic levels; and (b) the duration of the period of accumulation of UV-B-absorbing compounds in pollen, ranging from 8 to 28 days. Our results demonstrate an overall positive relationship between para-coumaric acid and UV-B radiation, best described by applying a UV-B-accumulation period spanning 12-19 days. However, we also show clear evidence for population-level factors influencing this relationship across the study locations. Synthesis. Our multidisciplinary approach, which combines expertise from palaeoecology, plant physiology and atmospheric physics, provides clear evidence that pollen-grain chemistry is subject to population-level variations. We suggest that quantitative reconstructions of long-term changes in springtime UV-B radiation are still achievable using fossil reconstructions, but only with careful consideration of the factors leading to pollen representation in sediments. Future improvements are dependent on mechanistic understanding of the local factors which mediate the UV-B response across different populations, and on upscaling knowledge at the plant level to incorporate longer-term chemical variations represented within sediment samples.
  • Biedermann, T; Couroux, P; Greve, TM; Makela, M (2021)
    Background The standardized quality (SQ) tree sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)-tablet has recently been approved for treatment of tree pollen allergy. Healthcare workers should be provided with detailed safety data for clinical use. Objective To assess the tolerability and safety of the SQ tree SLIT-tablet (12 SQ-Bet) in adults and adolescents. Methods Safety data were pooled from three double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trials (2 phase-II/1 phase-III) including adults and adolescents 12-65 years with allergic rhinitis and/or conjunctivitis treated before and during one pollen season once-daily with 12 SQ-Bet (n = 471) or placebo (n = 458): EudraCT no: 2012-000031-59; NCT02481856; EudraCT 2015-004821-15. Results The most frequently reported investigational medicinal product (IMP)-related AEs with 12 SQ-Bet were oral pruritis (39% of subjects) and throat irritation (29%). IMP-related AEs were mainly mild or moderate in severity, and the majority resolved without treatment and did not lead to treatment interruption/discontinuation. With 12 SQ-Bet, oral pruritus was more frequent among subjects with pollen food syndrome (PFS) (45%) than without PFS (29%). The 12 SQ-Bet did not seem to induce an increased risk of asthma: 7 events were reported in 7 subjects with 12 SQ-Bet and 11 in 10 subjects with placebo. No differences were seen in the risk of moderate-to-severe IMP-related AEs regardless of age, PFS status and asthma medical history. Conclusions The 12 SQ tree SLIT-tablet was well tolerated in tree pollen allergic subjects with no major safety concerns detected. This safety profile supports daily at-home sublingual administration once the first dose is tolerated when administered under medical supervision.
  • Parducci, Laura; Alsos, Inger Greve; Unneberg, Per; Pedersen, Mikkel W.; Han, Lu; Lammers, Youri; Salonen, J. Sakari; Väliranta, Minna M.; Slotte, Tanja; Wohlfarth, Barbara (2019)
    The lake sediments of Hasseldala Port in south-east Sweden provide an archive of local and regional environmental conditions similar to 14.5-9.5 ka BP (thousand years before present) and allow testing DNA sequencing techniques to reconstruct past vegetation changes. We combined shotgun sequencing with plant micro- and macrofossil analyses to investigate sediments dating to the Allerod (14.1-12.7 ka BP), Younger Dryas (12.7-11.7 ka BP), and Preboreal (
  • Kuosmanen, Niina; Marquer, Laurent; Tallavaara, Miikka; Molinari, Chiara; Zhang, Yurui; Alenius, Teija; Edinborough, Kevan; Pesonen, Petro; Reitalu, Triin; Renssen, Hans; Trondman, Anna-Kari; Seppa, Heikki (2018)
    QuestionsWe investigated the changing role of climate, forest fires and human population size in the broad-scale compositional changes in Holocene vegetation dynamics before and after the onset of farming in Sweden (at 6,000cal yr BP) and in Finland (at 4,000calyr BP). LocationSouthern and central Sweden, SW and SE Finland. MethodsHolocene regional plant abundances were reconstructed using the REVEALS model on selected fossil pollen records from lakes. The relative importance of climate, fires and human population size on changes in vegetation composition was assessed using variation partitioning. Past climate variable was derived from the LOVECLIM climate model. Fire variable was reconstructed from sedimentary charcoal records. Estimated trend in human population size was based on the temporal distribution of archaeological radiocarbon dates. ResultsClimate explains the highest proportion of variation in vegetation composition during the whole study period in Sweden (10,000-4,000cal yr BP) and in Finland (10,000-1,000cal yr BP), and during the pre-agricultural period. In general, fires explain a relatively low proportion of variation. Human population size has significant effect on vegetation dynamics after the onset of farming and explains the highest variation in vegetation in S Sweden and SW Finland. ConclusionsMesolithic hunter-gatherer populations did not significantly affect vegetation composition in Fennoscandia, and climate was the main driver of changes at that time. Agricultural communities, however, had greater effect on vegetation dynamics, and the role of human population size became a more important factor during the late Holocene. Our results demonstrate that climate can be considered the main driver of long-term vegetation dynamics in Fennoscandia. However, in some regions the influence of human population size on Holocene vegetation changes exceeded that of climate and has a longevity dating to the early Neolithic.