16 December 2019
The pollen calendar is the simplest forecasting method for pollen concentrations. As pollen concentrations are liable to seasonal variations due to alterations in climate and land-use, it is necessary to update the pollen calendar using recent data. To attenuate the impact of considerable temporal and spatial variability in pollen concentrations on the pollen calendar, it is essential to employ a new methodology for its creation.
A pollen calendar was produced in Korea using data from recent observations, and a new method for creating the calendar was proposed, considering both risk levels and temporal resolution of pollen concentrations. A probability distribution was used for smoothing concentrations and determining risk levels. Airborne pollen grains were collected between 2007 and 2017 at 8 stations; 13 allergenic pollens, including those of alder, Japanese cedar, birch, hazelnut, oak, elm, pine, ginkgo, chestnut, grasses, ragweed, mugwort and Japanese hop, were identified from the collected grains.
The concentrations of each pollen depend on locations and seasons due to large variability in species distribution and their environmental condition. In the descending order of concentration, pine, oak and Japanese hop pollens were found to be the most common in Korea. The pollen concentrations were high in spring and autumn, and those of oak and Japanese hop were probably the most common cause of allergy symptoms in spring and autumn, respectively. High Japanese cedar pollen counts were observed in Jeju, while moderate concentrations were in Jeonju, Gwangju and Busan.