Holloway, Richard George. Preservation and experimental diagenesis of the pollen exine. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Diagenesis of the pollen exine begins at anthesis and is the product of a sequence of interrelated factors consisting of mechanical, chemical and biological agents. These agents, ultimately, affect the preservation of the pollen exine and its eventual incorporation into the sedimentary record. The role of these agents of degradation in the process of diagenesis must be understood in order to interpret more accurately fossil pollen assemblages. To this end, a series of laboratory and field experiments were devised to investigate the effects of these agents. Experiments were designed to evaluate individually the effects of moisture, temperature, the chemical environment of deposition, laboratory extraction procedures, and the role of fungi in the degradation process. Data obtained in these experiments were then used for statistical analyses. The results of this research reveal the discreetness of palynomorph susceptability to degradation. When compared with the results of other researchers this research helps to provide a better basis for our understanding of the role played by a variety of factors in the preservation of palynomorphs as part of the fossil record.