The seasonal incidence of pollen in the atmosphere of Brisbane has been established from a near continuous. volumetric trapping program over the five-year period, July 1994-June 1999. Grass pollen accounts for 71.6% of the average annual pollen load with highest densities (up to 150 grains/m(3)) recorded in summer and autumn. Significant contributions were also made by taxa of the Cupressaceae (8.7%) and Urticaceae (1.8%) during spring and of the Pinaceae (4.5%) during winter. Pollen seasons of the Casuarinaceae (6.5%) and Myrtaceae (3.2%) are more extended, the former peaking in late winter and the latter in late spring. The onset and duration of the Poaceae and Urticaceae seasons varied from year to year, being later when precipitation levels were low in the late spring-early summer months. Total pollen numbers and grass pollen densities are substantially less than those recorded from southern Australia. Nevertheless, respiratory disease in Brisbane affects up to 10% of the population, and airborne pollen of Poaceae, Urticaceae, Cupressaceae, Pinaceae, and Myrtaceae have been implicated in the release of allergens.