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Terrestrial pollen studies can thus provide a temporal perspective on climatic changes rarely possible in a marine setting.
By the same token, plants that are self-fertilizing (autogamous or cleistogamous species) produce only minute quantities of pollen compared to anemophilous species.At smaller spatial and temporal scales, nondimatic effects dominate the pollen signal (Bradshaw, 1994). There is some evidence, however, that in certain sedimentary environments not all pollen grains will be equally well preserved (Cushing, 1967).For example, pollen grains are more subject to corrosion in moss peat than in silt deposits and this may be due to the activities of phycomycetes, bacteria, and other micro-organisms.In some cases, an entomophilous species, such as Tilia, may produce fairly large amounts of pollen but the relatively efficient dispersal mechanism (via insects) means that pollen grains are rarely found in large numbers, even in forests where Tilia is abundant (Janssen, 1966).As pollen is an aeolian sediment, pollen falling on sites where organic or inorganic sediments are accumulating will become part of the stratigraphic record (Traverse, 1994).
Consequently, the occurrence of fossil beech or larch grains in a deposit would indicate the former growth of a species in the immediate vicinity of the site.