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Surface Samples and Trapping

  • Anneli Poska
  • Scott A. EliasCary J. Mock
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 839-845
Publication/Series: Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science (Second Edition)
Document type: Book chapter
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

Abstract: Reference pollen data for use in interpreting fossil pollen assemblages may be either collected as surface samples or monitored by means of pollen traps. Surface samples can be obtained from moss polsters or lake-surface sediment, or exceptionally soil, leaf litter, or snow. The advantage of such samples is that a large number can be collected relatively quickly. Within the resulting pollen assemblage, however, the presence of each taxon has to be expressed in percentage terms. Reference material obtained from pollen traps offers more possibilities because pollen accumulation rates (PARs, grains cmâ 2 yearâ 1) can be calculated, and the record of each taxon can be considered independently. This allows comparisons over distance and between vegetation regions. The collection of such data using traps requires several years because the annual variation in pollen production, which is partly determined by climate, is great, and it is only the long-term average PAR that reflects vegetation composition. The number and location of samples and the amount of accompanying vegetation data should be appropriate for the research question to which they will be applied because there is no single standard that is suitable for the whole range of possible uses.


  • Physical Geography
  • Analog approach
  • Annual variation
  • Databases
  • Modern reference material
  • Moss polsters
  • Pollen accumulation rates
  • Pollen data training sets
  • Pollen dispersal models
  • Pollen monitoring program
  • Pollen percentages
  • Pollen productivity
  • Spatial resolution
  • Surface sample
  • Tauber-type trap
  • Temporal resolution


  • ISBN: 978-0-444-53642-6
E-mail: anneli [dot] poska [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se

Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Lund University
Sölvegatan 12
S-223 62 Lund

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