PALYNOLOGY:the study of palynomorphs: Founded by Lenart Von Post (1916), who helped develop the European Climatic Sequence
Palynomorphs: microscopic, pollen-shaped objects encountered while counting pollen and spores; e.g., leaf hairs, algae, dinoflagelates, foraminifera

Pollen: young male gametophyte of seed plants, responsible for fertilization of the egg.
Spores: one-celled reproductive structures, responsible for dissemination of plant.


PALYNOLOGY AND QUATERNARY STUDIES
(Also: Aeroallergy, Melissopalynology, Criminology, Pollination Ecology)
  1. Geochronology
  2. Climatic and Environmental History
  3. Archeological Palynology
PRINCIPALS OF PALYNOLOGY
PRODUCTION: pollen is produced in vast quantities, widely distributed
Seasonal and Annual variability
DISPERSAL
  1. Animal Transport Concentration HIGH at plant, or animal's nest
  2. Water Transport in small lake, 80% from stream (Bonny, 1976)
  3. Wind Transport n = Ne-(d/Δ) (linear model)

PRESERVATION
very resistant to decay
IDENTIFICATION: pollen grains are recognizable

INTERPRETATION OF POLLEN DIAGRAMS:

  1. understand the horizontal and vertical axes
  2. subdivide pollen diagram into zones
  3. identify modern analogs for each zone
  4. interpret vegetation history
  5. interpret climate history

Vertical Axes:
    Depth   Time
Horizontal Axes: amount of pollen
    PERCENTAGES     % of each taxon effects % of all others
      divisor (pollen sum) is upland plant pollen

    CONCENTRATION   grains / volume (cm-3) or / mass (g)

    ACCUMULATION RATE (INFLUX)
    Influx
    (# grains cm-2 yr-1)
    =   concentration   X
    (# grains cm-3)
    sedimentation rate
    (cm yr -1)
Pollen Zones: division of the diagram:
    Biostratigraphic Zone: "A biostratigraphic zone is defined solely by the fossils it contains, without reference to lithology, inferred environment, or concepts of time." Code of Stratigraphic Nomenclature. Bull.Amer.Assoc.Petrol.Geol. 45(5):645-665.


Surface Samples provide the calibration of the pollen-vegetation relationship



Palynology Readings

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