Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Mark James Thompson
Palynology is the study and analysis of microscopic organic material, predominantly pollen and spores, but also a multitude of other organic particles with tough exterior surfaces that defy acid digestion, collectively known as Palynomorphs. Palynologists use the data on distribution and abundance of palynomorphs for a growing range of applications, from geology and archeology to paleoecology and forensic science, providing new insights and knowledge within each field. With the ability to resolve knowledge of ancient ecologies and climates, the application and importance of palynology to humankind grows coincidentally with our concerns about global climate change and environmental impacts. Palynomorphs are derived from four of the five taxonomic kingdoms (Protista, Planta, Fungi and Animalia) where organisms have some part of their life cycle that produces a cell, tissue or organ with a type of wall that is highly resistant to organic decay or inorganic degradation. Throughout time, vast quantities of palynomorphs ...