Document Type



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


1.4 CHEMICAL SCIENCES, Environmental sciences, Meteorology and atmospheric sciences

Publication Details

Atmospheric Environment


The aim of this work was to provide both a comparison of traditional and novel methodologies for airborne spores detection (i.e. the Hirst Burkard trap and WIBS-4) and the first quantitative study of airborne fungal concentrations in Payerne (Western Switzerland) as well as their relation to meteorological parameters. From the traditional method -Hirst trap and microscope analysis-, sixty-three propagule types (spores, sporangia and hyphae) were identified and the average spore concentrations measured over the full period amounted to 4145 ± 263.0 spores/m3. Maximum values were reached on July 19th and on August 6th. Twenty-six spore types reached average levels above 10 spores/m3. Airborne fungal propagules in Payerne showed a clear seasonal pattern, increasing from low values in early spring to maxima in summer. Daily average concentrations above 5000 spores/m3 were almost constant in summer from mid-June onwards. Weather parameters showed a relevant role for determining the observed spore concentrations. Coniferous forest, dominant in the surroundings, may be a relevant source for airborne fungal propagules as their distribution and predominant wind directions are consistent with the origin. The comparison between the two methodologies used in this campaign showed remarkably consistent patterns throughout the campaign. A correlation coefficient of 0.9 (CI 0.76–0.96) was seen between the two over the time period for daily resolutions (Hirst trap and WIBS-4). This apparent co-linearity was seen to fall away once increased resolution was employed. However at higher resolutions upon removal of Cladosporium species from the total fungal concentrations (Hirst trap), an increased correlation coefficient was again noted between the two instruments (R = 0.81 with confidence intervals of 0.74 and 0.86).



Junta de Extremadura (Spain); European Regional Development Fund, Research Group Fund