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    Previous studies have demonstrated that plants are a very good indicator of global environmental variations. The responses of many plant species to climate change are confirmed by aerobiological research. This paper presents an analysis of many parameters of pollen seasons in the Amaranthaceae family based on measurements of pollen concentrations in atmospheric air. Pollen samples were collected with the volumetric method at a sampling site in Lublin (Poland) in 2001-2019. The obtained data were verified using statistical analyses. Moreover, the presence of pollenkitt on the pollen grain surface was examined in fresh anthers using scanning electron and light microscopes, since there are some difficulties in identification of Amaranthaceae pollen grains deposited on microscopic slides in aerobiological analysis. The pollen season in Amaranthaceae began on average on June 23 and ended on October 5, i.e. it lasted 105 days. The peak value and annual pollen sum were characterized by the highest variability in the study years in comparison with other season characteristics. The annual pollen sum was in the range from 183 to 725. Maximum concentrations were most often recorded in the second half of August, which is associated with the greatest risk of development of pollen allergy symptoms in sensitive subjects during this period. The results obtained in the 19-year study revealed that the pollen seasons began 14 days earlier. Similarly, the end of the season was accelerated by 24 days. The response of these plants to climate change also include the reduced pollen production by representatives of this family, which was manifested by a decrease in the annual sum of daily airborne pollen concentrations, on average by 35%, and a reduction in the maximum pollen concentration, on average by more than 60%. We found that temperature in May and June had an effect on pollen release, and relative air humidity in May influenced pollen concentrations. We noted significant similarities in the pollen release rate during the last 8 years of the study. The scanning electron microscopy examinations showed that the pollen grain surface in the representative of this family was covered completely or partially with pollenkitt. Hence, the apertures characteristic for pollen in this family were poorly visible. The presence of pollenkitt on the surface of these polyaperturate pollen grains may play an important role in preventing water loss during pollen migration in the air. Our research has demonstrated the response of plants flowering in summer to climate change. The results not only have practical importance for public health in the aspect of allergy risk but can also help to assess environmental changes. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Krystyna Piotrowska-Weryszko, Elżbieta Weryszko-Chmielewska, Aneta Sulborska, Agata Konarska, Marta Dmitruk, Bogusław Michał Kaszewski. Amaranthaceae pollen grains as indicator of climate change in Lublin (Poland). Environmental research. 2021 Feb;193:110542

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    PMID: 33271139

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