A simple method for collecting airborne pollen
Pollination is a broad area of study within biology. For many plants, pollen carried by wind is required for successful seed set. Airborne pollen also affects human health. To foster studies of airborne pollen, we introduce a simple device – the ‘megastigma’ – for collecting pollen from the air. This device is flexible, yielding easily obtained data that can be readily analysed. Thus, it is ideally suited for use in upper level biology courses. Using maize, Zea mays, as our sample study species, we obtained a graph showing daily amounts of pollen in the air. The megastigma can be applied to a wide range of plant species, from herbs to trees, be deployed in a wide variety of ways, and so have potential for many palynological applications.