Seasonal variations of airborne pollen in Allahabad, India

Author(s): Sahney M, Chaurasia S


Using a Burkard 7-day volumetric sampler a survey of airborne pollen grains in Allahabad was carried out from December 2004--November 2005 to assess the qualitative and quantitative occurrence of pollen grains during different months of the year, and to characterize the pollen seasons of dominant pollen types in the atmosphere of Allahabad. 80 pollen types were identified out of the total pollen catch of 3,416.34 pollen grains/m(3). Bulk of the pollen originated from anemophilous trees and grasses. Thirteen pollen types recorded more than 1 % of the annual total pollen catch. Holoptelea integrifolia formed the major component of the pollen spectrum constituting 46.21 % of the total pollen catch followed by Poaceae, Azadirachta indica, Ailanthus excelsa, Putranjiva roxburghii, Parthenium hysterophorus, Ricinus communis, Brassica compestris, Amaranthaceae/Chenopodiaceae, Madhuca longifolia, Syzygium cumini, other Asteraceae and Aegle marmelos. Highest pollen counts were obtained in the month of March and lowest in July. The pollen types recorded marked the seasonal pattern of occurrence in the atmosphere. February-May was the principal pollen season with maximum number of pollen counts and pollen types. Chief sources of pollen during this period were arboreal taxa. September-October was the second pollen season with grasses being the main source of pollen. Airborne pollen spectrum reflected the vegetation of Allahabad, except for Alnus sp., which grows in the Himalayan region. A significant negative correlation was found of daily pollen counts with minimum temperature, relative humidity and rainfall.

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