Remote sensing of phenology: a dynamic tool to inform allergenic grass pollen aerobiology

Rakhesh Devadas, Don Vicendese, Bircan Erbas, Danielle E. Medek, Simon G. Haberle, Rewi M. Newnham, Fay H. Johnston, Paul J. Beggs, Alison Jaggard, Bradley C. Campbell, Pamela K. Burton, Constance H. Katelaris, Ed Newbigin, Michel Thibaudon, Alfredo R. Huete, Janet M. Davies

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


    Background: Grass pollen is a major aeroallergen globally to which exposure is
    expected to intensify with climate change. Accurate assessments of the sources, timing, and duration of grassland pollinating periods are critical for improved management of allergic rhinitis and to better understand future trends in allergenic pollen exposure. Conventional methods for monitoring airborne pollen are labour intensive, site-specific, and hampered by a sparsity of sampling sites. Satellite remote sensing offers an alternative method to
    overcome some of these constraints by virtue of its synoptic coverage and repeatability of measurements that enable land cover mapping as well as vegetation condition and phenophase monitoring.

    Method: Land cover classes as well as satellite observations of greenness as an
    index of grass production dynamics and phenologies (start, peak, and end of growing season) were mapped within 5 urban centres and peri-urban surroundings across two hemispheres (in Australia and France). The satellite-based enhanced vegetation index (EVI) phenology profiles were related
    with in situ grass pollen count datasets spanning 5–12 years to assess the predictive capabilities of the satellite remote sensing for airborne pollen forecasting.

    Results: Using general additive modelling strong predictive capabilities for forecasting periods of grass pollen release were found for both Australian and French sites, including sites dominated by temperate grass species and the Australian Sydney site with multiple grass peaks in airborne grass pollen correlating with the presence of subtropical, summer-flowering grasses.

    Conclusion: Remote sensing of grass phenology revealed vital information on pollen sources for forecasting grass pollen aerobiology to aid management of public health risk.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number396
    Pages (from-to)196
    Number of pages1
    JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
    Issue numberSuppl. 102
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventEuropean Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Congress - Vienna, Austria
    Duration: 11 Jun 201615 Jun 2016


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