About this Research Topic
Anthropogenic climate change is likely to affect allergy sufferers by altering the chemical, physical and biological composition of the atmosphere. For instance, increasing temperatures and changes in precipitation modify plant phenology (e.g. the timing of flowering onset) and, consequently, the start, peak, end and duration of the respective pollen seasons as well as the spatial distribution of allergenic plants. Furthermore, increased concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide influence plant biomass production, including pollen productivity. There is also a paucity of information available concerning the impacts of climate change on allergenic fungal spores. It is yet to be determined whether state-of-the-art monitoring techniques currently being developed can be calibrated with existing long-term datasets, some going back several decades, to examine temporal changes in the atmospheric microbiome. Furthermore, interactions between multiple environmental, biological and health parameters may result in emerging allergic diseases under climate change conditions, as in the case of thunderstorm asthma.
Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (on the assessment of impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability) states that some common allergic diseases, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis and dermatitis, are climate sensitive and climatic change may facilitate the production, release and dispersal of aeroallergens (e.g. allergenic pollen and fungal spores). The goal of this Research Topic is to advance current knowledge of the impacts of anthropogenic climate change on spatial and temporal variations in aeroallergens. This will include, but will not be limited to, emerging diseases with an emphasis on environmental and biological parameters, as well as investigations into how current and future technologies can be used to monitor these changes and aid in the accurate and timely provision of health information services.
The Editors of this Research Topic encourage papers that explore novel methods and contain results that significantly advance aerobiological knowledge, with particular focus on airborne allergenic pollen and fungal spores in outdoor air. The title 'climate change and aeroallegens' is as an umbrella that covers the following sub-topics (non-exhaustive):
Climate change impacts on plants - Phenology (changes in the timing and magnitude of flowering and pollen seasons related to changes in meteorological factors).
Climate change quantitative impacts on plants - CO2 fertilization and plant biomass production: effects on pollen productivity and pollen seasons.
Climate change spatial impacts on plants - Plant distribution, invasive alien species and emerging aeroallergens.
Climate change impacts on allergenic fungi.
New methods in bio-aerosol monitoring and climate change: towards real-time, open-access allergy risk alerts.
Mitigation and adaptation – e.g. sensitive planting for urban greening.
Keywords: climate change, aeroallergens, allergens, aerobiology, allergy, bioaerosols, fungal spores, pollen
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.