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Free Content The usefulness of aerobiological methods in monitoring lycopod sporulation

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Background and aims – The purpose of the study was to determine whether the concentration of lycopod spores present in aeroplankton reflects their release during sporulation and whether it is a good indirect tool to estimate the condition of lycopod populations in Poland.

Methods – The study was conducted in Sosnowiec, S Poland. The airborne spores were continuously captured by the volumetric spore trap during a period of eleven years (1998–2008). Plant pollen grains and spores from the trap were macroscopically identified, counted and expressed as daily pollen grain and spore concentrations in 1 m3 of air.

Key results – The average monthly sum of captured lycopod spores varied in the analysed period of time from 0.3 to 4.1 spores per year. Their yearly concentration was small in comparison to the ascertained pollen grains and did not exceed 0.5% of all airborne particles captured in a given year. In addition, they showed seasonal fluctuations with the highest concentration of spores usually detected in July. This finding is in accordance with the typical time of lycopod sporulation. In addition, we detected the presence of lycopod spores outside the typical summer sporulation time, i.e. during months of winter and early spring. In our opinion, their presence is related to the phenomenon of lengthened (winter) sporulation of clubmosses.

Conclusions – Our results showed only limited transportation of lycopod spores by wind. Therefore, the condition of lycopod populations in Poland can hardly be estimated using aerobiological methods. Nevertheless, the seasonal dynamics of lycopod spore concentration can be recorded by aerobiological methods.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: August 22, 2018

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