3,077 research outputs found

    Aerobiology over Antarctica – a new initiative for atmospheric ecology

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    The role of aerial dispersal in shaping patterns of biodiversity remains poorly understood, mainly due to a lack of coordinated efforts in gathering data at appropriate temporal and spatial scales. It has been long known that the rate of dispersal to an ecosystem can significantly influence ecosystem dynamics, and that aerial transport has been identified as an important source of biological input to remote locations. With the considerable effort devoted in recent decades to understanding atmospheric circulation in the south-polar region, a unique opportunity has emerged to investigate the atmospheric ecology of Antarctica, from regional to continental scales. This concept note identifies key questions in Antarctic microbial biogeography and the need for standardized sampling and analysis protocols to address such questions. A consortium of polar aerobiologists is established to bring together researchers with a common interest in the airborne dispersion of microbes and other propagules in the Antarctic, with opportunities for comparative studies in the Arctic

    Recommended Terminology for Aerobiological Studies

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    Aerobiology is an interdisciplinary science where researchers with different backgrounds are involved in different topics related to microorganism, airborne biological particles, e.g. pollen and spores, and phenology. Some concepts, words or expressions used in aerobiology have a clear definition, but are however frequently misused. Therefore, the working group “Quality Control” of the European Aerobiology Society (EAS) and the International Association of Aerobiology (IAA) would like to clarify some of them, their use and presentation

    Preliminary study of the airborne pollen in the atmosphere of Puerto Ayora (Galapagos Islands, Ecuador)

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    Galapagos is an archipelago of volcanic islands located 972 km west from the continental Ecuador. They were declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve due to their singular environmental value, where a third part of the native plants are endemic to this archipelago (Jaramillo et al., 2011). In spite of the numerous scientific studies carried out in Galapagos, there are not any aerobiological samplings being performed currently. The main objectives of this study were to install a pollen trap for detecting the presence of pollen in the atmosphere of Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands) and qualitatively identify the different pollen types detected during the studied period. A Durham (1946) gravimetric pollen trap was modified to turn it into a passive impact pollen trap based on Pla Dalmau (1957) modifications. It was placed on the roof of the Galapagos National School (Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island) at a height of 15m above ground level. The samples were obtained by using silicone fluid as adhesive substance and glycerine gelatine as mounting mean. The pollen grains were counted in a surface of 14 x 48 mm in each sample. The pollen types were identified with the aid of the pollen guide of the Galapagos Island by Jaramillo & Trigo (2011) and the Charles Darwin Foundation pollen bank. Pollen types of endemic plants such as Darwiniothamnus sp., Passiflora foetida var. galapagensis Killip, Justicia galapagana Lindau and Castela galapageia Hook. f. were detected together with those of other native and introduced species. A high diversity of pollen types was detected, reflecting the particular vegetation of the island. This preliminary aerobiological information can be used as precedent for further studies on the pollination of native and introduced species of the Galapagos Islands, as well as for detecting possible allergic diseases in the population.Universidad de Málaga. Campus de Excelencia Internacional Andalucía Tech

    Measurement of NO2 indoor and outdoor concentrations in selected public schools of Lahore using passive sampler

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    Higher levels of NO2 are a danger to human health especially for children. A seven day study was carried to find out the ambient concentrations of NO2in 27 schools of Lahore with the help of passive samplers. In each school three sites were selected, viz: laboratory, corridor and outdoors. After 7 days exposure the tubes were subjected to spectrophotometric analysis. Results showed that the maximum values measured in laboratory, outdoor and corridors were 376µg/m3 , 222µg/m3 and 77µg/m3 . Minimum values for laboratory, outdoor and corridors were 10µg/m3 , 20µg/m3 and 8µg/m3 . Factors affecting these values were laboratory activities and proximity to main roads. These values were significantly higher than the standard values defined by EPA. Therefore children in schools were at risk of developing health complications

    Exposure to NO2 in occupational built environments in urban centre in Lahore

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    Increased economic growth, urbanisation and substantial rise in automobile vehicles has contributed towards the elevated levels of air pollution in major cities in Pakistan. Aone week study was conducted by using passive samplers to assess NO2 concentration in occupational built environments at two most congested and populated sites of Lahore. Both sites were locatedon the busy roads of Lahore. At Site-I the highest concentration was in outdoors followed by corridor and indoor. While at Site II all the sampling location wereindoors and level were comparable to that of outdoor levelsat Site I. The results suggest the likely contribution of ambient sources in exposure to indoor NO2 in educational and other occupational built environments in urban centres

    Aeromycology: studies of fungi in aeroplankton

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    Air is a natural environment for spores of many genera and species of fungi. Despite its small size and a significant dispersion they have a great impact on human health and different areas of our activities, such as agricultural production. The study on spores of fungi that belong to aeroplankton or bioaerosole is called aeromycology. The most frequent fungi present in the air are Cladosporium and Alternaria species. Their numbers are abundant regardless of latitude and height above the sea level and above the ground. They mostly originate from agricultural environment. Other frequently listed species of fungi, whose spores are present in the air include of Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Sclerotinia and Ganoderma. The concentration of spores in the air strongly depends on the abundance of their formation during the studied period. This in turn relates to geobotanical region, vegetation, degree of urbanization, climatic conditions, season, current weather, wind force and direction, local microclimate, and many other factors. Changes in humidity affect the concentration of different types of fungal spores. In general they are divided to ‘dry’ (Alternaria, Cladosporium, Puccinia, Ustilago, Melampsora, Epicoccum, Drechslera) and ‘wet’ (Didymella, Fusarium, Ganoderma, Gliocladium, Leptosphaeria, Verticillium). Study of the composition of species and genera are being done using different types of spore samplers, mostly volumetric instruments. Visual identification is based on colony morphology of the fungus and the shape and size of spores. The identification at the species level is possible with molecular tools. Methods based on DNA/RNA amplification are very sensitive and accurate. They allow the identification below the species level, e.g. chemotypes, mating types or isolates with genes or alleles of interest. Aerobiological monitoring is widely used in the epidemiology of human diseases (inhalant allergies) and infections of arable crops (decision support systems for the protection of cultivated plants). Aeromycology is interconnected with such diverse areas as industrial aerobiology, bioterrorism, ecology, climatology or even speleology and cultural heritage.Powietrze jest naturalnym środowiskiem dla zarodników licznych rodzajów i gatunków grzybów. Pomimo niewielkich rozmiarów i znacznego rozproszenia mają one wielki wpływ na zdrowie ludzi i różne kierunki ich działalności, w tym w szczególności na produkcję rolniczą. Badania nad zarodnikami grzybów stanowiącymi część aeroplanktonu są przedmiotem aeromykologii. Niezależnie od szerokości geograficznej i wysokości nad poziomem morza w powietrzu szczególnie często występują grzyby z rodzajów Cladosporium i Alternaria, a ich źródłem jest najczęściej środowisko rolnicze. Innymi często notowanymi rodzajami grzybów, których zarodniki występują w powietrzu są m.in. Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Sclerotinia i Ganoderma. Stężenie zarodników w powietrzu jest ściśle uzależnione od obfitości ich tworzenia w danym okresie, co jest pochodną regionu geobotanicznego, szaty roślinnej, stopnia zurbanizowania danej lokalizacji, warunków klimatycznych, pory roku, aktualnej pogody, siły i kierunku wiatru, lokalnego mikroklimatu i wielu innych czynników. Zmiany wilgotności powietrza wpływają na stężenie zarodników różnych rodzajów grzybów, określanych na tej podstawie jako „suche” (Alternaria, Cladosporium, Puccinia, Ustilago, Melampsora, Epicoccum, Drechslera) lub „mokre” (Didymella, Fusarium, Ganoderma, Gliocladium, Leptosphaeria, Verticillium). Badania składu rodzajowego i gatunkowego prowadzone są przy zastosowaniu różnego rodzaju chwytaczy zarodników, a identyfikacja wizualna na podstawie morfologii kolonii grzyba oraz kształtu i wymiarów zarodników uzupełniana jest obecnie przez wyjątkowo czułe metody detekcji molekularnej, specyficzne względem rodzajów, gatunków, chemotypów, a nawet składu genów i kompozycji poszczególnych alleli. Monitoring aerobiologiczny znajduje bezpośrednie wykorzystanie w epidemiologii chorób ludzi (alergologia) i roślin uprawnych (systemy wspierania decyzji w ochronie roślin uprawnych). Badania z zakresu aeromykologii znajdują zastosowanie w tak różnych kierunkach jak aerobiologia przemysłowa, bioterroryzm, ekologia, dziedzictwo kulturowe, klimatologia lub speleologia

    Backward air trajectory models for detecting pollen airborne sources of Castanea in Ronda (South Spain)

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    Ronda is located in a rural area close to the natural Parks Sierra de Grazalema and Sierra de las Nieves, surrounded by crops, natural and seminatural vegetation. The Genal Valley, which is located at the southwest of Ronda, is the biggest Castanea sativa Mill. crop area in Andalusia (South Spain) but there are also others C. sativa crops in different areas close to Ronda. This increases the Castanea atmospheric pollen levels in Ronda, the highest of Malaga province. Castanea pollen has been cited by different authors as potentially allergenic. The objective of this preliminary study was to determine the main sources of Castanea pollen detected in Ronda during the period in which the highest concentrations were detected along the year 2017. The pollen samplings were made by means of a Hirst-type volumetric pollen trap. The samples obtained were mounted and counted according to the methodology proposed by the Spanish Aerobiology Network (REA). Backward air trajectories were calculated according to HYSPLIT 4 model. Models were run five times a day by using R software for the whole month of June 2017. Due to the wind dynamics in Ronda, the main source of Castanea airborne pollen was not the expected (the Genal Valley). The dominant winds in June 2017 came from the southeast of Ronda and brought Castanea pollen from the crops of two nearby localities, Istan and Ojen, which are widely smaller than those situated in the Genal Valley. Therefore, due to the high pollen production of these crops, predictive models for the Castanea airborne pollen in Ronda should be done in future researches in order to prevent allergic diseases in the population. Additionally, by studing air trajectory models, the cross pollination between Castanea populations in the area can be estimated.Universidad de Málaga. Campus de Excelencia Internacional Andalucía Tech

    Microbial dynamics during various activities in residential areas of Lahore, Pakistan

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    Bioaerosols are ubiquitous in the atmosphere with their levels affected by a variety of environmental factors as well as type of activities being carried out at any specific time. The present study investigated how indoor activities influence bioaerosol concentrations in five residential houses of Lahore. Agar coated petri plates were exposed face upwards for twenty minutes in kitchens and living rooms during activity and non-activity periods. The temperature and relative humidity levels were noted as well. The bioaerosol concentrations in kitchens during the activity time ranged between 1022 to 4481 cfu/m3 and in living rooms from 1179 to 3183 cfu/m3 . Lower values were observed during non-activity periods. A paired-t test revealed a significant difference in bacterial loads during activity and non-activity times in both micro-environments (p = 0.038 in kitchen and p = 0.021 in living room). The predominant species identified were Micrococcus spp., Staphylococcus spp., and Bacillus spp. which are a common constituent of the indoor environment and are known to be opportunistic pathogens as well
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