Pollen analysis dating
Pollen analysis advanced rapidly in this period due to advances in optics and computers.
Usually, the goal of palynology is to reconstruct the probable character of local plant communities in the historical past, as inferred from the abundance of plant species in dated potions of the pollen record.Palynomorphs, however, generally have been destroyed in metamorphic or recrystallized rocks.Typically, palynomorphs are dinoflagellate cysts, acritarchs, spores, pollen, fungi, scolecodonts (scleroprotein teeth, jaws and associated features of polychaete annelid worms), arthropod organs (such as insect mouthparts), chitinozoans and microforams.The isolation ended with the German publication of Gunnar Erdtman's 1921 thesis. Hyde and Williams chose palynology on the basis of the Greek words paluno meaning 'to sprinkle' and pale meaning 'dust' (and thus similar to the Latin word pollen).The methodology of pollen analysis became widespread throughout Europe and North America and revolutionized Quaternary vegetation and climate change research. Sarauw studied fossil pollen of middle Pleistocene age (Cromerian) from the harbour of Copenhagen. Pollen analysis in North America stemmed from Phyllis Draper, an MS student under Sears at the University of Oklahoma.Palynology does not include diatoms, foraminiferans or other organisms with siliceous or calcareous exoskeletons.
Palynology as an interdisciplinary science stands at the intersection of earth science (geology or geological science) and biological science (biology), particularly plant science (botany).
By the late 1870s, as optical microscopes improved and the principles of stratigraphy were worked out, Robert Kidston and P.
Reinsch were able to examine the presence of fossil spores in the Devonian and Carboniferous coal seams and make comparisons between the living spores and the ancient fossil spores.
They are extracted from sedimentary rocks and sediment cores both physically, by ultrasonic treatment and wet sieving, and chemically, by chemical digestion to remove the non-organic fraction.
Palynomorphs may be composed of organic material such as chitin, pseudochitin and sporopollenin.
The condition and identification of those particles, organic and inorganic, give the palynologist clues to the life, environment, and energetic conditions that produced them.