Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Physical chemistry, Plant sciences, botany, Biology, Other biological topics, Forestry, Agronomy, plant breeding and plant protection

Publication Details

Science of The Total Environment


Ornamental trees bring benefits for human health, including reducing urban pollution. However, some species, such as plane trees (Platanus sp.), produce allergenic pollen. Consequently, urban maps are a valuable tool for allergic patients and allergists, but they often fail to include variables that contribute to the “building downwash effect”, such as the width and shape of streets and the height of buildings. Other factors that directly influence pollen dispersion (slopes and other geographical features) also have not traditionally been discussed. The LiDAR (Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging) technique enables one to consider these variables with high accuracy. This work proposes an Aerobiological Index to create Risk maps for Ornamental Trees (AIROT) and the establishment of potential areas of risk of exposure to Platanus pollen. LiDAR data from five urban areas were used to create the DEM and DSM (Digital Elevation and Surface Models) needed to perform further analysis. GIS software was used to map the points for each city and to create risk maps by Kriging, with stable (3 cases) and exponential function (2 cases) as the optimal models. In short, the AIROT index was a useful tool to map possible biological risks in cities. Since AIROT allows each city to consider its own characteristics, including geographical specifications, by using remote sensing and geostatistics techniques, the establishment of risk maps and healthy itineraries is valuable for allergic patients, allergists, architects and urban planners. This new aerobiological index provides a new decision-making tool related to urban planning and allergenicity assessment.



Regional Government, Junta de Extremadura (Spain); the European Regional Development Fund; Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)