The modern pollen–vegetation relationship in Jammu, India: a comparative appraisal
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Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow-226007, India
Online publication date: 2021-06-30
Publication date: 2021-06-30
Acta Palaeobotanica 2021; 61(1): 1–19
An understanding of the relationship between modern pollen and vegetation is a prerequisite for reconstruction of vegetation and climate change from fossil pollen records. We conducted palynological studies of thirty-five surface soil samples from the Jammu region of India, which revealed that Pinus, among the conifers (regional needle-leaved taxa), is over-represented in the pollen assemblage due to its high production and effective dispersal of pollen. Other coniferous and broadleaved (regional and/or extra-regional) taxa have comparatively lower values in the pollen assemblages, similar to the representation of subtropical deciduous forest elements (regional), as well as shrubby (regional and/or extra-regional) taxa. This inconsistency in the pollen assemblage could be due to long-distance transport of the former by wind and/or water from the higher reaches of the Himalayas, and also because the latter have an entomogamous pollination syndrome and are not high pollen producers. The recovered pollen assemblage presents a distorted picture of the extant vegetation; hence, caution should be exercised in interpreting fossil pollen records from the study area. Principal component analysis (PCA) shows variability in the distribution of pollen from different sites in the Jammu region, perhaps the result of transport (by wind and/ or water), altitude and/or edaphic factors of the Himalayan terrain. The study should improve our understanding of the modern pollen-vegetation relationship and aid further calibration and interpretation of fossil pollen records.
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