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Title: Palynological characterisation of Amazonian rainforest communities, northeast Bolivia
Author: Burn, Michael James
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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Descriptive and morphometric methods are used to identify and differentiate key pollen types of the Moraceae family (Brosimum, Helicostylis, Pseudolmedia, Sorocea and Pourouma) that are well represented in Amazonian rainforest communities of Noel Kempff Mercado National Park (NKMNP). Using multivariate and cluster analyses applied to modern-pollen and floral-biometric data obtained from study plots situated within rainforest communities of the park, it is demonstrated that terra firme (well-drained) evergreen, terra firme liana, seasonally inundated, and riparian rainforests are readily characterised by their pollen rain. Analogue matching techniques are employed to numerically compare the resulting signatures with core-top pollen assemblages taken from the Quaternary sedimentary record of two lakes within the park, and of three others situated in the floristically distinct Llanos de Moxos ecoregion. Such comparisons demonstrate that riparian forest communities represent the closest modern analogue for pollen assemblages obtained from surface sediment samples from lakes with NKMNP; however, elements of terra firme forests also constitute a significant proportion of these assemblages. There is a clear separation of pollen trap and surface sediment spectra obtained from NKMNP from those obtained from outside the park reflecting floristic differences between rainforests of the Madeira-Tapajós ecoregion and gallery forests of the Llanos de Moxos ecoregion. These results not only provide the potential for much more detailed and reliable Neotropical palaeovegetation reconstructions but also enable a more precise estimation of past carbon storage from Amazonian fossil pollen records.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available