Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 479–495

Pollen productivity estimates and relevant source area of pollen for selected plant taxa in a pasture woodland landscape of the Jura Mountains (Switzerland)


    • Laboratoire de Chrono-EcologieUMR 6565 CNRS, Université de Franche-Comté
    • School of Pure and Applied Natural Sciences
  • Anna Broström
    • Quaternary Science, GeoBiosphere Science CentreLund University
  • Marie-José Gaillard
    • School of Pure and Applied Natural Sciences
  • Shinya Sugita
    • Department of Ecology, Evolution and BehaviourUniversity of Minnesota
  • Pascal Vittoz
    • Département d’écologie et évolutionUniversité de Lausanne, Faculté des géosciences et de l’environnement (FGSE)
  • Alexandre Buttler
    • Laboratoire de Chrono-EcologieUMR 6565 CNRS, Université de Franche-Comté
    • Laboratoire des Systèmes écologiques – ECOS, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) et Institut fédéral de recherches WSL
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00334-008-0143-0

Cite this article as:
Mazier, F., Broström, A., Gaillard, M. et al. Veget Hist Archaeobot (2008) 17: 479. doi:10.1007/s00334-008-0143-0


Relevant source area of pollen (RSAP) and pollen productivity for 11 key taxa characteristic of the pasture woodland landscape of the Jura Mountains, Switzerland, were estimated using pollen assemblages from moss polsters at 20 sites. To obtain robust pollen productivity estimates (PPEs), we used vegetation survey data at a fine spatial-resolution (1 × 1 m2) and randomized locations for sampling sites, techniques rarely used in palynology. Three Extended R value (ERV) submodels and three distance-weighting methods for plant abundance calculation were applied. Different combinations of the submodels and distance-weighting methods provide slightly different estimates of RSAP and PPEs. Although ERV submodel 1 using 1/d (d = distance in meters) best fits the dataset, PPE values for heavy pollen types (e.g. Abies) were sensitive to the method used for distance-weighting. Taxon-specific distance-weighting methods, such as Prentice’s model, emphasize the intertaxonomic differences in pollen dispersal and deposition, and are thus theoretically sound. For the dataset obtained in this project, Prentice’s model was more appropriate than other distance-weighting methods to estimate PPEs. Most of the taxa have PPEs equal to (Fagus, Plantago media and Potentilla-type), or higher (Abies, Picea, Rubiaceae and Trolliuseuropaeus) than Poaceae (PPE = 1). Acer, Cyperaceae, and Plantagomontana-type are low pollen producers. This set of PPEs will be useful for reconstructing heterogeneous, mountainous pasture woodland landscapes from fossil pollen records. The RSAP for moss polsters in this semi-open landscape region is ca. 300 m.


Pasture woodland landscapeRelevant source area of pollen (RSAP)Pollen productivity estimates (PPE)Extended R value submodelsDistance-weighting methodsPollen-vegetation relationshipMoss polsters

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© Springer-Verlag 2008