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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-513
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-513
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 19 Jul 2018

Research article | 19 Jul 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Characterisation of biofluorescent aerosol emissions over winter and summer periods in the United Kingdom

Elizabeth Forde1, Martin Gallagher1, Virginia Foot2, Roland Sarda-Esteve3, Ian Crawford1, Paul Kaye4, Warren Stanley4, and David Topping1 Elizabeth Forde et al.
  • 1Centre for Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • 2Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down, Salisbury, UK
  • 3Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l’environnement, Saclay, France
  • 4Particle Instruments Research Group, University of Hertfordshire, UK

Abstract. Primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP) are an abundant subset of atmospheric aerosol particles which comprise viruses, bacteria, fungal spores, pollen, and fragments such as plant and animal debris. The abundance and diversity of these particles remain poorly constrained, causing significant uncertainties for modelling scenarios and for understanding the potential implications of these particles in different environments. PBAP concentrations were studied at four different sites in the United Kingdom (Weybourne, Davidstow, Capel Dewi, and Chilbolton) using an ultra-violet light induced fluorescence (UV-LIF) instrument, the Wideband Integrated Bioaerosol Spectrometer (WIBS), versions 3 and 4.

Using hierarchical agglomerative cluster (HAC) analysis, particles were statistically discriminated between. Fluorescent particles and clusters were then analysed by assessing their diurnal variation and their relationship to the meteorological variables, temperature and relative humidity, and wind speed and direction. Using local land cover types, sources of the suspected fluorescent particles and clusters were then identified.

Most sites exhibited a wet discharged fungal spore dominance, with the exception of one site, Davidstow, which had higher concentrations of bacteria, suggested to result from the presence of a local dairy factory. Differences were identified as to the sources of wet discharged fungal spores, with particles originating from arable and horticultural land at Chilbolton, and improved grassland areas at Weybourne. Total fluorescent particles at Capel Dewi were inferred to comprise two sources, with bacteria originating from the broadleaf and coniferous woodland and wet discharged fungal spores from nearby improved grassland areas, similar to Weybourne.

The use of HAC and a higher fluorescence threshold (9SD) produced clusters which were considered to be biological following the complete analysis. More knowledge of the reaction of speciated biological particles to differences in meteorology, such as relative humidity and temperature would aid characterisation studies such as this.

Elizabeth Forde et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Elizabeth Forde et al.
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Short summary
The abundance and diversity of airborne biological particles in different environments remains poorly constrained. Measurements of such particles were conducted at four sites in the United Kingdom, using real-time fluorescence instrumentation. Using local land cover types, sources of suspected particle types were identified and compared. Most sites exhibited a wet-discharged fungal spore dominance, with the exception of one site, which was inferred to be influenced by a local dairy farm.
The abundance and diversity of airborne biological particles in different environments remains...
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