Modern pollen rain and fungal spore assemblages from pasture woodlands around Lake Saint-Point (France)
Modern analogs are commonly used to investigate the relationships between modern pollen rain and the surrounding present vegetation and to improve our interpretation of fossil data. We collected modern pollen and spore rain in 18 more or less grazed and/or forested sites around Lake Saint-Point (Jura Mountains, France). Multivariate numerical techniques were applied to understand how modern pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs (NPP) taxa, collected in moss and dung samples, record local vegetation in the surroundings, and to identify indicators of tree cover or grazing. We show a strong relationship between current local herbaceous vegetation and pollen but underline the limits of past vegetation reconstructions based on AP/NAP ratio. In moss samples, we identified Picea, Abies, Fagus and Coollus pollen as well as Trichocladium, Kretschmaria deusta and Cirrenalia as indicators of tree cover. Spores of Sporormiella and some undetermined palynomorphs such as new NPP LCE-13 were positively correlated with openness while LCE-23 and LCE-32 could represent grazing indicators and/or coprophilous types. As compared to moss samples, dung samples contained much more pollen grains from Trifolium repens-type, Trifolium pratense-type, Plantago lanceolata-type and Plantago major/media-type taxa (grassland species eaten by cattle) and spores from coprophilous fungi. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.