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Aerobiology is a multidisciplinary science dealing with biological particles in the atmosphere generated by natural activities during flowering season. Airborne pollen is now the main studied biological structure which is used as a reliable tool to study plant phenology, plant distribution changes and prediction of crop production. The main aims of this work is to determine the distribution of the different spring flowering species from the North to the South of Tunisia and to establish the pollen spectrum of three regions Mornag (North), Menzel M’hiri (Centre) and Chaal (South) in 2017.
Airborne pollen data were collected using three volumetric Hirst-type spore traps placed in Mornag (36°39N; 10°16E), Menzel M’hiri (35°38N; 10°41E) and Chaal (34°34N; 10°19E) during olive flowering season. The highest pollen index was recorded in the north (Mornag, 6487.1) corresponding mainly to 18 different pollen types emitted by anemophilous species with an important presence of Cupressus pollen type having the highest contribution. Lower pollen amounts were recorded in Menzel M’hiri (5983.8) and Chaal (925.3). Olea eurpoeae was the most presented pollen type in these regions. However comparing the different study sites we can note a large distribution of some taxa from north to the south. The main common taxa were Olea europaea, Cupressaceae, Poaceae and Amaranhaceae. Their atmospheric concentrations varied also between the regions. Individual pollen index showed a sharp heterogeneity between the taxa in the same region in one hand and between the study sites in the other hand, thus a statistical analysis was performed to define the main group of taxa according to their individual pollen index. Flowering phenology of the main common taxa was also established.
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