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Journal Article

Model simulations of fungal spore distribution over the Indian region


Ojha,  N.
Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Ansari, T. U., Valsan, A. E., Ojha, N., Ravikrishna, R., Narasimhan, B., & Gunthe, S. S. (2015). Model simulations of fungal spore distribution over the Indian region. Atmospheric Environment, 122, 552-560. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.10.020.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-D656-4
Fungal spores play important role in the health of humans, animals, and plants by constituting a class of the primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs). Additionally, these could mediate the hydrological cycle by acting as nuclei for ice and cloud formation (IN and CCN respectively). Various processes in the biosphere and the variations in the meteorological conditions control the releasing mechanism of spores through active wet and dry discharge. In the present paper, we simulate the concentration of fungal spores over the Indian region during three distinct meteorological seasons by combining a numerical model (WRF-Chem) with the fungal spore emissions based on land-use type. Maiden high-resolution regional simulations revealed large spatial gradient and strong seasonal dependence in the concentration of fungal spores over the Indian region. The fungal spore concentrations are found to be the highest during winter (0-70 mu g m(-3) in December), moderately higher during summer (0-35 mu g m(-3) in May) and lowest during the monsoon (0-25 mu g m(-3) in July). The elevated concentrations during winter are attributed to the shallower boundary layer trapping the emitted fungal spores in smaller volume. In contrast, the deeper boundary layer mixing in May and stronger monsoonal-convection in July distribute the fungal spores throughout the lower troposphere (similar to 5 km). We suggest that the higher fungal spore concentrations during winter could have potential health impacts. While, stronger vertical mixing could enable fungal spores to influence the cloud formation during summer and monsoon. Our study provides the first information about the distribution and seasonal variation of fungal spores over the densely populated and observationally sparse Indian region. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.