A method for producing airborne pollen source inventories: an example of Ambrosia (ragweed) on the Pannonian Plain.
We present here a simple methodology for calculating species inventories for allergenic pollen that can be used by atmospheric transport models. Ragweed (Ambrosia) species distribution or infection level on the Pannonian Plain has been used as an example of how the methodology can be used. The Pannonian Plain is one of the three main regions in Europe recognized as being polluted by Ambrosia. The methodology relies on spatial variations in annual Ambrosia pollen counts, knowledge on ragweed ecology and detailed land cover information. The results of this analysis showed that some of the highest mean annual ragweed pollen concentrations were witnessed around Kecskemét in central Hungary and Novi Sad in northern Serbia. These areas are also the areas with the highest density of Ambrosia habitats. The resulting inventory can be entered into atmospheric transport models in combination with other components such as a phenological model and a model for daily pollen release, in order to simulate the movement of ragweed pollen from the Pannonian Plain. The methodology is likely to be generally applicable for creating inventories of species distribution of allergenic plants. The main requirement is availability of: detailed land cover information; pollen indexes; a list of the most important habitats; and a region of interest that is mainly influenced by local sources.