Pollen monitoring

Pollen levels in the Greater Reykjavík Area and Akureyri are monitored from April 15th to September 30th every year in cooperation with the Icelandic Meteorological Office. Pollen monitoring for Reykjavík started in 1988, while monitoring in Akureyri began in 1998. In 2011, the spore trap in Reykjavík was moved to the IINH location in the nearby municipality of Garðabær.

The European Pollen Information website provides information in English and German on pollen levels in most European countries, including Iceland. Information on pollen levels in Iceland is updated weekly over the summer.

Pollen counts for grasses and birch can be found during the summer on the IINH website and are updated once or twice a week.

The first pollens typically appear in pollen traps in early April. These pollens are of heath and willow species (Ericaceae and Salix spp.). Aspen or poplar (Populus spp.) pollen is also found in early May. Birch trees (Betula spp.) begin to produce pollen in the middle of May, and pollen production continues to rise during the first half of June. Grass pollens (Poaceae) are usually first noted by the beginning of June and remain fairly abundant until September. Grass pollens reach their highest concentrations from mid-July through to the middle of August.

Alder (Alnus spp.) pollen is a well-known allergy trigger. Alder pollen appears as early as late March to April. Alder is not a common species in Iceland, apart from a few rather scattered garden plants, and pollen production also occurs somewhat before the start of annual pollen monitoring. Spore traps therefore rarely catch alder pollen.

More on pollen in Iceland

IINH Contact: Guðmundur Guðmundsson

Frjógildra í Urriðaholti í Garðabæ
Picture: Ásrún Elmarsdóttir

Spore trap in Urriðaholt, Garðabær

Frjógildra á Akureyri
Picture: Kerstin Gillen

Spore trap in Akureyri