Picea (Pinaceae)

Picea engelmannii
Trees of the Pacific Northwest

Picea omorika

Picea engelmannii
Martin & Drew


Pollen light micrograph:
The pollen grain of the month for May, 1999, is the spruce (Picea) pollen type. Like pine (Pinus) and fir (Abies), spruce is a bisaccate (or vesiculate) pollen grain consisting of a body with two latarally-placed bladders (sacca, vesicles). Spruce pollen is distinguished from pine and fir by its large size (> 75 µm), and smooth transition between bladder and body. The reticulate pattern on the bladders of spruce pollen becomes smaller near the bladder-body juncture. Pine is smaller than spruce, and fir has a distinct separation between bladder and body.

Pollen scanning electron micrograph (SEM)
Electron microscopy shows a depressed furrow between the bladders, but this has not been shown for the light microscope.

Production and Dispersal:
Wind pollinated, and the pollen is produced in vast quantities but its dispersal is moderate, perhaps due to the large size. This combination of production and dispersal leads to a close correlation of spruce pollen values and vegetation abundance.

Well preserved.

Fossil Occurrence:

    Bagnall, C. R., Jr. 1974.
    Pollen morphology of Abies, Picea, and Pinus species of the U.S. Pacific Northwest using scanning electron microscopy. Ph. D. dissertation, Washington State Univ.

    Bagnall, C. R., Jr. 1975.
    Species identification among pollen grains of Abies, Picea, and Pinus in the Rocky Mountain area (A scanning electoron microscope study). Rev. Palaeobotany Palynology 19: 203-220.

    Birks, J. H. B. and Peglar, S. M. 1980.
    Identification of Picea pollen of Late Quaternary age in eastern North America: a numerical approach. Can. J. Bot. 58: 2043-2058.

    Weir, G.H. and Thurston, E.L. 1975.
    Scanning electron microscopic identificaiton of fossil Pinaceae pollen to species by surface morphology. Palynology 1: 157-165.


Owen K. Davis 12/99