Approaches to pollen taxonomic harmonisation in Quaternary palynology
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionReview of Palaeobotany and Palynology. 2023, 319, 104989. 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2023.104989
Pollen taxonomic harmonisation involves the standardisation of the nomenclature of pollen and fern spores with similar morphotypes at the determination level that is common to all grains or spores with that morphotype within the pollen sequence(s) of interest. Such harmonisation is required prior to subsequent investigations such as numerical analysis, comparing, mapping, synthesis, and environmental reconstruction involving several pollen sequences. Here we present two approaches to harmonisation. These are a ‘top-down’ and a ‘bottom-up’ approach. The bottom-up approach is preferred. It is based on the concept of the regional pollen flora for the sequence(s) in the spatial area(s) of study. We present bottom-up harmonisation tables for the continental or sub-continental scales developed for the Humans on Planet Earth (HOPE) project. The tables are for North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia (three parts), and Indo-Pacific. These harmonisations are project-specific and sequence-specific, relating to the geographical area and to the sequences in the area under consideration, both of which are linked to the research questions being addressed. A new bottom-up harmonisation with a consistent taxonomic level and nomenclature is needed when additional sequences or areas are added. However, the HOPE tables can serve as a starting point for further research involving multi-sequence analyses or syntheses.