Variations in the airborne pollen load are among the current and expected impacts on plant pollination driven by climate change. Due to the potential risk for pollen-allergy sufferers, this study aimed to analyze the trends of the three most abundant spring-tree pollen types, Pinus
, and to evaluate the possible influence of meteorological conditions. An aerobiological study was performed during the 1993–2020 period in the Ourense city (NW Spain) by means of a Hirst-type volumetric sampler. Meteorological data were obtained from the ‘Ourense’ meteorological station of METEOGALICIA. We found statistically significant trends for the Total Pollen in all cases. The positive slope values indicated an increase in pollen grains over the pollen season along the studied years, ranging from an increase of 107 to 442 pollen grains. The resulting C5.0 Decision Trees and Rule-Based Models coincided with the Spearman’s correlations since both statistical analyses showed a strong and positive influence of temperature and sunlight on pollen release and dispersal, as well as a negative influence of rainfall due to washout processes. Specifically, we found that slight rainfall and moderate temperatures promote the presence of Pinus
pollen in the atmosphere and a marked effect of the daily thermal amplitude on the presence of high Platanus
pollen levels. The percentage of successful predictions of the C5.0 models ranged between 62.23–74.28%. The analysis of long-term datasets of pollen and meteorological information provides valuable models that can be used as an indicator of potential allergy risk in the short term by feeding the obtained models with weather prognostics.
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