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Muzalyova, A.* ; Brunner, J.O.* ; Traidl-Hoffmann, C. ; Damialis, A.

Forecasting Betula and Poaceae airborne pollen concentrations on a 3-hourly resolution in Augsburg, Germany: Toward automatically generated, real-time predictions.

Aerobiologia, DOI: 10.1007/s10453-021-09699-3 (2021)
Verlagsversion Forschungsdaten DOI
Open Access Gold (Paid Option)
Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag
Airborne allergenic pollen impact the health of a great part of the global population. Under climate change conditions, the abundance of airborne pollen has been rising dramatically and so is the effect on sensitized individuals. The first line of allergy management is allergen avoidance, which, to date, is by rule achieved via forecasting of daily pollen concentrations. The aim of this study was to elaborate on 3-hourly predictive models, one of the very few to the best of our knowledge, attempting to forecast pollen concentration based on near-real-time automatic pollen measurements. The study was conducted in Augsburg, Germany, during four years (2016–2019) focusing on Betula and Poaceae pollen, the most abundant and allergenic in temperate climates. ARIMA and dynamic regression models were employed, as well as machine learning techniques, viz. artificial neural networks and neural network autoregression models. Air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, air pressure, sunshine duration, diffuse radiation, and wind speed were additionally considered for the development of the models. It was found that air temperature and precipitation were the most significant variables for the prediction of airborne pollen concentrations. At such fine temporal resolution, our forecasting models performed well showing their ability to explain most of the variability of pollen concentrations for both taxa. However, predictive power of Betula forecasting model was higher achieving R up to 0.62, whereas Poaceae up to 0.55. Neural autoregression was superior in forecasting Betula pollen concentrations, whereas, for Poaceae, seasonal ARIMA performed best. The good performance of seasonal ARIMA in describing variability of pollen concentrations of both examined taxa suggests an important role of plants’ phenology in observed pollen abundance. The present study provides novel insight on per-hour forecasts to be used in real-time mobile apps by pollen allergic patients. Despite the huge need for real-time, short-term predictions for everyday clinical practice, extreme weather events, like in the year 2019 in our case, still comprise an obstacle toward highly performing forecasts at such fine timescales, highlighting that there is still a way to go to this direction. 2
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Publikationstyp Artikel: Journalartikel
Dokumenttyp Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Schlagwörter Aerobiology ; Diurnal Pollen Distribution ; Dynamic Regression ; Environmental Health ; Neural Networks ; Time Series Analysis
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0393-5965
e-ISSN 1573-3025
Zeitschrift Aerobiologia
Verlag Pitagora Ed.
Verlagsort Bologna
Begutachtungsstatus Peer reviewed
Institut(e) Institute of Environmental Medicine (IEM)
Förderungen Projekt DEAL