This page introduces the list of pollen types that might be identifiable in mid- and late-Quaternary sediments of the British Isles. For a thorough interpretation of pollen data, it is necessary to have a firm understanding of the range of types that could reasonably occur in a pollen preparation, and to make pollen identifications at a level which is as fine as possible. It is also necessary that different pollen analysts in different laboratories should use the same nomenclature to achieve consistency of identification, and to enable communication about pollen identification categories without having to append a list of which species are included in each type. Ideally, consensus on pollen identification categories will involve cross-checking with fossil pollen, but a first step could be agreement of a nomenclature. The purpose of producing this catalogue is thus:
to place possible palynological distinctions in a modern taxonomic framework to make clear exactly which species are in which pollen- morphological category to show how all native species fit into the pollen- morphological scheme to promote dialogue amongst palynologists about realistic levels of pollen identification (perhaps with allowance for quality of preservation)to establish a set of names for labelling pollen diagrams and discussing palynological results.
This catalogue is intended to be provisional. If it generates sufficient interest, I hope to modify and adapt it in the light of the experience and comments and others. I assume that users of the catalogue will have access to reference material, and can check the limits of pollen morphological categories themselves.