EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Analysis of bioaerosol emission patterns of tropical fungi in the Amazon region

Sebastian Brill1, Nina Löbs1, Cybelli G. G. Barbosa1, Juliana F. de Camargo2, David Walter1, Florian Ditas1, Marta de Oliveira Sá3, Alessandro C. de Araújo4, Leonardo R. de Oliveira3, Ricardo H. M. Godoi2, Stefan Wolff1, Meike Piepenbring5, Jürgen Kesselmeier1, Paulo Artaxo6, Meinrat O. Andreae1,7, Ulrich Pöschl1, Christopher Pöhlker1, and Bettina Weber1,8
Sebastian Brill et al.
  • 1Multiphase Chemistry and Biogeochemistry Departments, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, 55128, Germany
  • 2Department of Environmental Engineering, Federal University of Paraná UFPR, Curitiba, PR, Brazil
  • 3Large Scale Biosphere -Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA), Institu to Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia (INPA), Manaus-AM, CEP 69067-375, Brazil
  • 4Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA), Belém-PA, CEP 66095-100, Brazil
  • 5Department of Mycology, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Frankfurt, 60438, Germany
  • 6Institute of physics, University of São Paulo 05508 -900, Brazil
  • 7Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037, US
  • 8Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Graz, Holteigasse 6, 8010 Graz, Austria

Primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP), better known as bioaerosols, are considered to play a role in atmospheric and climate influencing processes. Fungal spores, as a part of PBAP, account for a large fraction of coarse particulate matter in some ecosystems, as for example the Amazon rainforest. In such highly diverse ecosystems, fungi play key roles as mycorrhizal fungi for nutrient uptake of plants and as decomposers in nutrient and water cycling, and thus their community structure strongly influences local ecosystem conditions. Despite this relevance, fungal spore emission patterns under natural conditions and the corresponding triggering factors are not well characterized, yet. In this study, we present a laboratory and field measurement techniques to quantify and analyze bioaerosol emission patterns and the effect of precipitation on fungal spore emission.

For investigations under field conditions, the particle emissions of fungi (Agaricomycetes) were characterized at their site of growth in the field using an optical particle sizer and a data logger. Particle concentrations and their size distribution (0.3 to 10 µm), as well as the microclimatic temperature and humidity were measured in close vicinity to the fungal fruiting body. Generally, field measurements were performed over a time span of 24 h with some exceptions ranging up to 6 days. For laboratory measurements, a newly developed glass chamber system was used to measure particle emissions of fungi under controlled conditions. During the chamber measurements, the humidity and temperature conditions were varied and recorded with a datalogger. To simulate precipitation events, the fruiting bodies were sprayed with water between measurement sections and particle emissions were monitored before and after moistening.

First measurements of fungi under field and lab conditions showed that high humidity values were necessary to trigger fungal spore emissions. In many cases, precipitation events and the moisture status of the fungus and substrate had an influence on spore release. Based on the results of 47 field measurements, it was possible to establish a function simulating the spore emission patterns of fungi during their diurnal emission cycle. During field measurements, an emission of up to 55,000 spores per second was recorded directly at the fungus, which, according to the function, may correspond to emissions of up to 2.8 x 109 spores per day. Chamber measurements showed that spore emissions generally started 2-3 hours after artificial moistening.

Increasing deforestation is expected to cause drier conditions and to increase the possibility of droughts, which will have an impact on the species composition and quantity of fungi in the Amazon. A combination of our field and lab emission data is expected to allow a new interpretation of bioaerosol emissions and composition in the Amazon, which can be used as a baseline to analyze the potential relevance of bioaerosols in regional atmosphere and climate processes.

How to cite: Brill, S., Löbs, N., Barbosa, C. G. G., de Camargo, J. F., Walter, D., Ditas, F., de Oliveira Sá, M., de Araújo, A. C., de Oliveira, L. R., Godoi, R. H. M., Wolff, S., Piepenbring, M., Kesselmeier, J., Artaxo, P., Andreae, M. O., Pöschl, U., Pöhlker, C., and Weber, B.: Analysis of bioaerosol emission patterns of tropical fungi in the Amazon region, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14109,, 2021.