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Plants 2016, 5(4), 42; doi:10.3390/plants5040042

Plant Responses to Climate Change: The Case Study of Betulaceae and Poaceae Pollen Seasons (Northern Italy, Vignola, Emilia-Romagna)

1
Laboratorio di Palinologia e Paleobotanica, Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Viale Caduti in Guerra, 127, 41121 Modena, Italy
2
Plant Physiology Lab, Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Kennedy, 17/I, 42124 Reggio Emilia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giampiero Cai
Received: 24 October 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollen Tube Growth 2016)
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Abstract

Aerobiological data have especially demonstrated that there is correlation between climate warming and the pollination season of plants. This paper focuses on airborne pollen monitoring of Betulaceae and Poaceae, two of the main plant groups with anemophilous pollen and allergenic proprieties in Northern Italy. The aim is to investigate plant responses to temperature variations by considering long-term pollen series. The 15-year aerobiological analysis is reported from the monitoring station of Vignola (located near Modena, in the Emilia-Romagna region) that had operated in the years 1990–2004 with a Hirst spore trap. The Yearly Pollen Index calculated for these two botanical families has shown contrasting trends in pollen production and release. These trends were well identifiable but fairly variable, depending on both meteorological variables and anthropogenic causes. Based on recent reference literature, we considered that some oscillations in pollen concentration could have been a main effect of temperature variability reflecting global warming. The duration of pollen seasons of Betulaceae and Poaceae, depending on the different species included in each family, has not unequivocally been determined. Phenological responses were particularly evident in Alnus and especially in Corylus as a general moving up of the end of pollination. The study shows that these trees can be affected by global warming more than other, more tolerant, plants. The research can be a contribution to the understanding of phenological plant responses to climate change and suggests that alder and hazelnut trees have to be taken into high consideration as sensible markers of plant responses to climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: pollen; aerobiology; global warming; wind-pollinated plants; long-term series; Betula; Alnus; Corylus pollen; aerobiology; global warming; wind-pollinated plants; long-term series; Betula; Alnus; Corylus
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mercuri, A.M.; Torri, P.; Fornaciari, R.; Florenzano, A. Plant Responses to Climate Change: The Case Study of Betulaceae and Poaceae Pollen Seasons (Northern Italy, Vignola, Emilia-Romagna). Plants 2016, 5, 42.

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