Title of presentation: The importance of tree pollen research in Latvia
Abstract of presentation: The pollen from different trees as birch, alder, hazel, willow, oak, yew, beech, elm (and others), cause respiratory allergy in about 15-20% of Latvian population. Noticeable percentage of sufferers have severe reactions and need forehanded therapy before the start of tree flowering. This is the main reason of so called aerobiological forecasting modelling and, more detailed research of plant reaction to climatological and meteorological changes is the base for such modelling. Understanding of the relationship between tree-flowering mechanisms and meteorological factors allow to produce good-quality pollen forecasts. This study presents the results of birch pollen modelling because it is known as the most frequent allergen in Latvia and northern Europe. Based on the long-series data from Northern Europe relationship between meteorological factors and pollen concentration were defined. The ability of birch to accumulate the heat was tested and threshold for flowering start was calculated. Using statistical modelling procedure, diurnal variation of pollen concentration was successfully modelled, as well as possible next year total amount of pollen during the flowering season. We are continuously developing this direction in cooperation with Finnish Meteorological institute and current methodology already used in regional forecasting models as SILAM and COPERNICUS.