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Contemporary pollen spectra from the Natal Drakensberg and their relation to associated vegetation communities

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dc.contributor.author Hill TR en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-22T08:10:26Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-22T08:10:26Z
dc.date.created 1988 en
dc.date.submitted 1993 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11892/21795
dc.description.abstract The research focuses on the contemporary pollen rain - vegetation relationship for vegetation communities within the Natal Drakensberg, a region which is recognised as having the potential for extensive palynological investigation. The objective was to investigate the fundamental assumption underlying palynology, viz: that the pollen rain of a particular region is indicative or representative of the exixting vegetation of that region. If the modern pollen rain is indicative of and/or distinctive foe a particular vegetation community then the principle of methodological uniformitarianism can be applied, which states that the present day patterns and relationships can provide factual basis for the reconstruction of the past through the extrapolation of modern analogues backwards in time. A vegetation survey was conducted in thirteen communities identified as pertinent to the research and a two-year modern pollen rain sampling programme was carried out, using both surface soil and pollen trap samples as a means of recording and quantifying the pollen rain. Once the necessary sample preparation and pollen counts had been performed, descriptive and numerical/statistical methods were employed to determine and describe the existing pollen- vegetation relationship. Descriptive analysis of the data sets was carried out with the laid of spectra depicted as rotated bar graphs and representing the relative percentage freuencies of the collected/counted taxa. Annual and seaonal pollen influx values were calculated and presented. Analysis of variance was applied to test various hypotheses related to sampling strategy and pollen influx variation. Statistical methods employed were two-day indicator species analysis (a classification analysis technique), detrended correspondence analysis and principal components analysis (ordination techniques), canonical correlation analysis (for data set association) and multiple ciscriminant analysis (for determination of vegetation zonal indicis). The latter technique allowed fir the profitability of modern analogues to be assessed which are necessary for accurate interpretation of fossil pollen assemblences if the assumption under investigation is correct. The findings are discussed and conclusions are drawn. en
dc.language English en
dc.subject Environmental sciences and Ecology en
dc.subject Ecology and biogeography en
dc.title Contemporary pollen spectra from the Natal Drakensberg and their relation to associated vegetation communities en
dc.type Doctoral degree en
dc.description.degree PhD en

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