Temperate airborne grass pollen defined by spatio-temporal shifts in community composition

Georgina L. Brennan, Caitlin Potter, Natasha De Vere, Gareth Griffith, Carsten A. Skjøth, Nicholas J. Osborne, Benedict W. Wheeler, Rachel N. McInnes, Yolanda Clewlow, Adam Barber, Helen M. Hanlon, Matthew Hegarty, Laura Jones, Alexander Kurganskiy, Francis M. Rowney, Charlotte Armitage, Beverley Adams-Groom, Col R. Ford, Geoff M. Petch, PollerGEN ConsortiumSimon Creer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Grass pollen is the world’s most harmful outdoor aeroallergen. However, it is unknown how airborne pollen assemblages change across time and space. Human sensitivity varies between different species of grass that flower at different times, but it is not known whether temporal turnover in species composition match terrestrial flowering or whether species richness steadily accumulates over the grass pollen season. Here, using targeted, high-throughput sequencing, we demonstrate that all grass genera displayed discrete, temporally restricted peaks of incidence, which varied with latitude and longitude throughout Great Britain, revealing that the taxonomic composition of grass pollen exposure changes substantially across the grass pollen season.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-754
Number of pages5
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2019


  • Allergens
  • Flowers
  • Humans
  • Poaceae
  • Pollen
  • Seasons


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