Pollen dating method
Pollen records within these materials can often be extremely difficult for palynologists to interpret, affected as they may be by problems such as poor pollen preservation or mixing (Dimbleby 1985).Where polleniferous material is stratified and can be securely dated, it can be used to build up a picture of how individual taxa and plant communities have changed over time.For Scotland alone, Tipping (1994) listed 239 sites providing palynological data for just the mid- to late Holocene, and this corpus of information continues to grow, providing excellent coverage for most areas (the Moray Firth being identified as one exception; Edwards 1999).A number of reviews are available which consider advancements within the technique and the role it has played in studies of vegetation change within Scotland (e.g.
This allows secondary deductions about, for example, climate change and human disturbance to the environment.
The technique is flexible, enabling vegetation to be considered at a variety of geographical scales, from regional through to local (Janssen 1973; Jacobson and Bradshaw 1981).
Particularly in summer, the air is filled with pollen dust.
Pollen grains are distinctive to each plant species and sub-species, and their tiny and dense structure mean that they survive well in many soil types for thousands of years.