Aerosol measurement methods to quantify spore emissions from fungi and cryptogamic covers in the Amazon
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
Abstract. Bioaerosols are considered to play a relevant role in atmospheric processes, but their sources, properties, and spatiotemporal distribution in the atmosphere are not yet well characterized. In the Amazon Basin, primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs) account for a large fraction of coarse particulate matter, and fungal spores are among the most abundant PBAPs in this area as well as in other vegetated continental regions. Furthermore, PBAPs could also be important ice nuclei in
... azonia. Measurement data on the release of fungal spores under natural conditions, however, are sparse. Here we present an experimental approach to analyze and quantify the spore release from fungi and other spore-producing organisms under natural and laboratory conditions. For measurements under natural conditions, the samples were kept in their natural environment and a setup was developed to estimate the spore release numbers and sizes as well as the microclimatic factors temperature and air humidity in parallel to the mesoclimatic parameters net radiation, rain, and fog occurrence. For experiments in the laboratory, we developed a cuvette to assess the particle size and number of newly released fungal spores under controlled conditions, simultaneously measuring temperature and relative humidity inside the cuvette. Both approaches were combined with bioaerosol sampling techniques to characterize the released particles using microscopic methods. For fruiting bodies of the basidiomycetous species, Rigidoporus microporus, the model species for which these techniques were tested, the highest frequency of spore release occurred in the range from 62 % to 96 % relative humidity. The results obtained for this model species reveal characteristic spore release patterns linked to environmental or experimental conditions, indicating that the moisture status of the sample may be a regulating factor, whereas temperature and light seem to play a minor role for this species. The presented approach enables systematic studies aimed at the quantification and validation of spore emission rates and inventories, which can be applied to a regional mapping of cryptogamic organisms under given environmental conditions.