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Ambient fungal spores within the atmosphere can contribute to a range of negative human, animal and plant health conditions and diseases. However, trends in fungal spore seasonality, species prevalence, and geographical origin have been significantly understudied in Ireland. Previously unpublished data from the late 1970s have recently been collected and analysed to establish historical fungal spore trends/characteristics for Dublin. Historical spore concentrations were largely dominated by Alternaria, Ascospores, Basidiospores, Botrytis, Cladosporium, Erysiphe and Rusts. The main fungal spore season for Dublin commenced in April with the fructification of Scopulariopsis and Ganoderma. However, the vast majority of other spore types did not reach peak spore release until late summer. The correlation between ambient spore concentration, and meteorological parameters was examined using Multivariable Regression Tree (MRT) analysis. The notable correlations found for fungal spore concentrations tended to involve temperature-based parameters. The use of a non-parametric wind regression was also employed to determine the potential geographical origin of ambient fungal spores. The impact of wind direction, and high windspeed on fungal spores was established, ultimately highlighting the importance of studying and monitoring fungal spores within Ireland, rather than attempting to rely on data from other regions, as most fungal spores collected in Dublin appeared to originate from within the island.



Environmental Protection Agency

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