Japanese trees synchronize allergic pollen release over immense distances

phys.org | 8/20/2019 | Staff
tiana_101 (Posted by) Level 3
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Complaints of allergic rhinitis (hayfever) are common worldwide, affecting around 17 percent of the Japanese population in spring and summer (around 20 million people). In Japan, the main tree species causing hayfever are Japanese cedar and Japanese cypress, with a combined land area of over 7 million hectares. Their pollen is dispersed between February and May and causes a range of symptoms from itchy eyes and runny noses through to severe respiratory disorders.

Management of these symptoms is dependent on timely and accurate pollen forecasting. It is known that the pollen from these trees has alternate annual cycles of ON (abundant pollen) and OFF (lower amounts) but it is not yet known how the dispersal of pollen synchronizes across Japan as studies to date have been based on only time-limited and local data.

Study - August - Scientific - Reports - Researchers

In a study published on August 7 in Scientific Reports, researchers from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) made use of publicly available data from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment's "Hanako-san" pollen observation system to investigate annual fluctuations in pollen distribution at 120 locations for 15 years and to clarify the spatial synchronization across the Japanese islands.

This research is the first of its kind to study this synchronicity at the national scale and operates across a wide range...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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