Plants remember past weather: a study for atmospheric pollen concentrations of Ambrosia, Poaceae and Populus

István Matyasovszky, László Makra, Zoltán Csépe, Zoltán Sümeghy, Áron József Deák, Elemér Pál-Molnár, Gábor Tusnády

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5 Citations (Scopus)


After extreme dry (wet) summers or years, pollen production of different taxa may decrease (increase) substantially. Accordingly, studying effects of current and past meteorological conditions on current pollen concentrations for different taxa have of major importance. The purpose of this study is separating the weight of current and past weather conditions influencing current pollen productions of three taxa. Two procedures, namely multiple correlations and factor analysis with special transformation are used. The 11-year (1997–2007) data sets include daily pollen counts of Ambrosia (ragweed), Poaceae (grasses) and Populus (poplar), as well as daily values of four climate variables (temperature, relative humidity, global solar flux and precipitation). Multiple correlations of daily pollen counts with simultaneous values of daily meteorological variables do not show annual course for Ambrosia, but do show definite trends for Populus and Poaceae. Results received using the two methods revealed characteristic similarities. For all the three taxa, the continental rainfall peak and additional local showers in the growing season can strengthen the weight of the current meteorological elements. However, due to the precipitation, big amount of water can be stored in the soil contributing to the effect of the past climate elements during dry periods. Higher climate sensitivity (especially water sensitivity) of the herbaceous taxa (Ambrosia and Poaceae) can be definitely established compared to the arboreal Populus. Separation of the weight of the current and past weather conditions for different taxa involves practical importance both for health care and agricultural production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-193
Number of pages13
JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 26 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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