More about our project
We focus on airborne pollen and the ecology of plants that produce them, i.e., the effect of climate on phenology and reproductive effort, and also on meteorology, pollen release and transport. In cooperation with medicinal researchers, we study the impact of allergenic pollen on sensitization, symptoms and life quality, and the additive effects of allergenic pollen and air pollution. Furthermore, we are involved in studies concerning other pro-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of pollen components that are not strictly part of an allergic reaction, but may contribute to sensitization or have other adverse effects on the immune system.
Two of us are involved with a university-derived company that provides services regarding fungi in damp buildings and as plant pathogens. Thus, fungi as bioaerosols and as causes of health problems are also items for our attention, in order to be able to respond to the frequent requests from stakeholders for information concerning these matters.
Pollen analysis is the key to understand plant-pollinator relationships
Bees, both wild and domestic, have pollen from flowering plants as their only source of amino acids and lipids needed for brood production and winter survival. They carry out a substantial part of the ecosystem service pollination, contributing both to the stability and diversity of ecosystems and tp the production and quality of several crops. However, changes in landscape structure and land-use, leading to destruction and fragmentation of habitats, had a negative impact on population sizes of wild bees; furthermore, the native “Nordic” honey-bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) has to a large degree been replaced by non-native races in beekeeping. Analysis of the pollen that bee collect, and of honey, inform us about how they utilize available plants and about their mutual or competitive relationships.
There is support for differential adaptation to local and regional climate and vegetation in the subspecies and races of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). In the Interreg-project “Support to the Nordic Bee” we compared the resilience capacity of the Nordic bee with other subspecies, and with the hybrid Buckfast. With Nordens Ark, University of Skövde, and Norsk birøkterlag, we did parallel studies at five different apiaries in Sweden and Norway to understand their preferences, with regard to the local flora, and to find out if there are differences in phenological traits. The results are now being analysed.