Non-pollen palynomorph studies in the Neotropics: the case of Venezuela

Montoya, Encarni; Rull, Valentí and Vegas-Vilarrúbia, Teresa (2012). Non-pollen palynomorph studies in the Neotropics: the case of Venezuela. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 186 pp. 102–130.



This paper summarises the NPP studies developed so far in a wide range of environments from Venezuelan lowlands, midlands and highlands, as an example of a growing discipline in a Neotropical area. The studies discussed include both modern analogues from surface sediments and Late Quaternary sequences combining pollen and spores with NPP analyses. Emphasis is placed on the utility of NPP as palaeoecological indicators both individually and collectively (NPP assemblages), as well as in combination with other proxies. The main advantages of using NPP instead of only pollen and spores are highlighted using case studies as examples. Among them, the occurrence of NPP in samples barren for pollen and spores, the independent indicator nature of NPP, and their capacity to reveal previously unnoticed environmental shifts (notably those related to local conditions), are emphasised. The main results obtained in all these analyses are discussed in the frame of several areas of the NPP study that are considered crucial (methods, taxonomy, indicator value and statistical treatment). Some ideas for future developments are proposed in each of these areas, and the need for closer collaboration among NPP specialists is strengthened, in a way towards unification and standardisation.

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