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Vol. 48. Issue 2.
Pages 194-201 (March - April 2020)
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Vol. 48. Issue 2.
Pages 194-201 (March - April 2020)
Original Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.aller.2019.06.012
Airborne pollen calendar of Portugal: a 15-year survey (2002–2017)
Irene Camachoa,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author at: Madeira University, Faculty of Life Science, Campus Universitário da Penteada, 9020-105 Funchal, Portugal.
, Elsa Caeirob,c, Carlos Nunesd, Mário Morais-Almeidae
a Faculdade das Ciências da Vida, Universidade da Madeira, Portugal
b Sociedade Portuguesa de Alergologia e Imunologia Clínica - SPAIC, Lisboa, Portugal
c Instituto de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais Mediterrânicas – ICAAM, Évora, Portugal
d Centro de Imunoalergologia do Algarve, Portimão, Portugal
e Allergy Center, CUF Descobertas, Lisbon, Portugal
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Tables (1)
Table 1. Mean annual pollen index of the allergenic taxa in Portugal. (The highest values obtained on each plant category are highlighted in bold).

Data about the occurrence of airborne pollen enables the creation of pollen calendars with an approximation of flowering periods for the most common allergenic plant species in a specific area. The aim of this work is to provide pollen calendar for each of the seven monitoring regions of Portugal based on 15 years of airborne sampling, in order to chart the seasonal behaviour of the main allergenic pollen types.

Material and methods

Airborne pollen monitoring (2002–2017) was carried out by the Portuguese Aerobiology Network (RPA), using Hirst-type volumetric spore traps, following well-established guidelines.


A total of 14 airborne pollen types were recorded at RPA monitoring stations, of which 64.2% belong to trees, 28.5% to herbs and 7.1% to weeds. The airborne pollen spectrum is dominated by important allergenic pollen types such as Poaceae, Quercus spp., Urticaceae and Cupressaceae. The average pollen index was 42.557 in mainland Portugal and 3.818 in the Islands. There was an increased trend in the airborne pollen levels over the years, namely in Coimbra, Évora and Porto, compared to the remaining regions.


This report provides accessible information about the main allergenic airborne pollen types occurring in the course of the year. The pollen calendars charted for each Portuguese region showed that the occurrence of most allergenic taxa was centred from March to July. Pollen peak concentrations were detected earlier in the Centre and Lisbon and Tagus Valley regions, and later in the remaining regions.

Pollen calendar


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