Characteristics, determinants, and spatial variations of ambient fungal levels in the subtropical Taipei metropolis

Yi Hua Wu, Chang Chuan Chan, Carol Y. Rao, Chung Te Lee, Hsiao Hsien Hsu, Yueh Hsiu Chiu, H. Jasmine Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


This study was conducted to investigate the temporal and spatial distributions, compositions, and determinants of ambient aeroallergens in Taipei, Taiwan, a subtropical metropolis. We monitored ambient culturable fungi in Shin-Jhuang City, an urban area, and Shi-Men Township, a rural area, in Taipei metropolis from 2003 to 2004. We collected ambient fungi in the last week of every month during the study period, using duplicate Burkard portable samplers and Malt Extract Agar. The median concentration of total fungi was 1339 colony-forming units m-3 of air over the study period. The most prevalent fungi were non-sporulating fungi, Cladosporium, Penicillium, Curvularia and Aspergillus at both sites. Airborne fungal concentrations and diversity of fungal species were generally higher in urban than in rural areas. Most fungal taxa had significant seasonal variations, with higher levels in summer. Multivariate analyses showed that the levels of ambient fungi were associated positively with temperature, but negatively with ozone and several other air pollutants. Relative humidity also had a significant non-linear relationship with ambient fungal levels. We concluded that the concentrations and the compositions of ambient fungi are diverse in urban and rural areas in the subtropical region. High ambient fungal levels were related to an urban environment and environmental conditions of high temperature and low ozone levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2500-2509
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Aeroallergens
  • Aerobiology
  • Bioaerosols
  • Culturable fungi
  • Subtropical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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