Temperate airborne grass pollen defined by spatio-temporal shifts in community composition

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  • Georgina L. Brennan
  • Caitlin Potter
    Aberystwyth University
  • Natasha De Vere
    Aberystwyth University
  • Gareth W. Griffith
    Aberystwyth University
  • Carsten A. Skjøth
    University of Worcester
  • Nicholas J. Osborne
    University of ExeterUniversity of New South WalesThe University of Queensland
  • Benedict W. Wheeler
    University of Exeter
  • Rachel N. McInnes
    Met Office
  • Yolanda Clewlow
    Met Office
  • Adam Barber
    Met Office
  • Helen M. Hanlon
    Met Office
  • Matthew Hegarty
    Aberystwyth University
  • Laura Jones
    National Botanic Garden of Wales
  • Alexander Kurganskiy
    University of Worcester
  • Francis M. Rowney
    University of Exeter
  • Charlotte Armitage
    The Woodland Trust
  • Beverley Adams-Groom
    University of Worcester
  • Col R. Ford
    National Botanic Garden of Wales
  • Geoff M. Petch
    University of Worcester
  • The PollerGEN Consortium
  • Simon Creer
Grass pollen is the world’s most harmful outdoor aeroallergen. However, it is unknown how airborne pollen assemblages change across time and space. Human sensitivity varies between different species of grass that flower at different times, but it is not known whether temporal turnover in species composition match terrestrial flowering or whether species richness steadily accumulates over the grass pollen season. Here, using targeted, high-throughput sequencing, we demonstrate that all grass genera displayed discrete, temporally restricted peaks of incidence, which varied with latitude and longitude throughout Great Britain, revealing that the taxonomic composition of grass pollen exposure changes substantially across the grass pollen season.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-754
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Issue number5
Early online date8 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

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