- Godfrey Philliam Apangu, Beverley Adams-Groom, Jack Satchwell, Catherine H. Pashley, Malgorzata Werner, Maciej Kryza, Mariusz Szymanowski, Malgorzata Malkiewicz, Nicolas Bruffaerts, Lucie Hoebeke, Agnieszka Grinn-Gofron, Lukasz Grewling, Nestor Gonzalez Roldan, Gilles Oliver, Charlotte Sindt, Mathilde Kloster, Carsten Ambelas Skjøth. Sentinel-2 satellite and HYSPLIT model suggest that local cereal harvesting substantially contribute to peak Alternaria spore concentrations, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. Volume 326, 2022, 109156, ISSN 0168-1923, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109156.
(First published: 19. September 2022)
Abstract: Alternaria is a human/animal allergen and plant/animal pathogen. Cereal harvesting emits a large amount of Alternaria spores into the atmosphere. However, estimating the peak spore periods and source areas from large areas is often a challenge because of insufficient observation stations. The purpose of this study was to examine, using remote sensing and an atmospheric transport and dispersion model, the contribution of cereal harvesting to peak Alternaria spore concentrations. Daily Alternaria spores were collected using Hirst-type traps in 12 sites in Europe for the period 2016-2018. Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) back-trajectory and dispersion model was integrated with Sentinel-2 satellite imagery, Corine Land Cover 2018 (CLC2018) and Eurostat cereal data 2016 to map the Alternaria spore peaks and source areas in the 12 sites. Ground truth harvest data, collected at Worcester, UK, in 2018, and meteorological data were used to determine any effect of cereal harvesting and weather on peak spore concentrations. The results showed that the Sentinel-2 satellite detected agricultural areas that underwent intensive harvesting and this coincided with a rapid increase of Alternaria spore concentrations. Furthermore, local agricultural areas cultivated with cereals were the main sources of the peak Alternaria spore concentrations in all the study sites. Remote agricultural and non-agricultural sources, to a lesser extent, contributed to the peak spore concentrations at some sites, e.g. Borstel, Leicester and Worcester. Temperature during the harvesting periods (July and August) was found to significantly contribute to the peak spore concentrations. Overall, the study showed that it is possible to use Sentinel-2 satellite data alongside atmospheric transport and dispersion models to estimate periods of peak Alternaria spore concentrations and sources at a continental scale. This approach can be replicated for other bioaerosols that affect human health, agriculture and forestry.