12 Sep 2022
12 Sep 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Measurement report: Atmospheric fluorescent bioaerosol concentrations measured during 18 months in a coniferous forest in the south of Sweden

Madeleine Petersson Sjögren1, Malin Alsved1, Tina Šantl-Temkiv2, Thomas Bjerring Kristensen3,4, and Jakob Löndahl1 Madeleine Petersson Sjögren et al.
  • 1Department of Design Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • 2Department of Biology, Microbiology Section and iCLIMATE Aarhus University Interdisciplinary Centre for Climate Change, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • 3Department of Physics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • 4Force Technology, 2605 Brøndby, Denmark

Abstract. Biological aerosol particles affect human health, are essential for microbial- and gene dispersal, and have been proposed as important agents for atmospheric processes. However, the abundance and size distributions of atmospheric biological particles are largely unknown. In this study we used a laser-induced fluorescence instrument to measure fluorescent biological aerosol particle (FBAP) concentrations for 18 months (October 2020–April 2022) at a rural, forested site in Sweden. The aim of this study was to investigate FBAP number concentrations (NFBAP) over time and analyze their relationship to meteorological parameters.

The NFBAP was highest in the summer and lowest in winter, exhibiting a ~3-fold difference between these seasons. The median NFBAP was 0.0050, 0.0025, 0.0027 and 0.0126 cm-3 in fall, winter, spring, and summer, respectively, and constituted ~0.1–0.5 % of the total supermicron particle number. The NFBAP were dominated by the smallest measured size fraction (1–3 µm), suggesting that the main portion of the biological particles measured were due to single bacterial cells, fungal spores, and bacterial agglomerates. The NFBAP were significantly correlated with increasing air temperature (P<0.01) in all seasons. For most of the campaign NFBAP was seen to increase with wind speed (P<0.01), while the relationship with relative humidity was for most part of the campaign nonsignificant (46 %) but to a large part (30 %) negative (P<0.05). Our results indicate that NFBAP were highest during warm and dry conditions when wind speeds were high, suggesting that a major part of the FBAP in the spring and summer were due to mechanical aerosol generation and release mechanisms. In the fall, relative humidity may have been a more important factor for bioaerosol release. This is one of the longest time series of atmospheric FBAP, which are highly needed for estimates of bioaerosol background concentrations in comparable regions.

Madeleine Petersson Sjögren et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-560', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 Oct 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-560', Anonymous Referee #2, 22 Nov 2022

Madeleine Petersson Sjögren et al.

Madeleine Petersson Sjögren et al.


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Short summary
Biological aerosol particles (bioaerosols) affect human health by spreading diseases and may be important agents for atmospheric processes, but their abundance and size distributions are largely unknown. We measured bioaerosols for 18 months in the south of Sweden to investigate bioaerosol temporal variations and their couplings to meteorology. Our results showed that the bioaerosols emissions were coupled to meteorological parameters and depended strongly on season.