Improving Palynological Human Impact Assessments

Sedimentary palynological records can be used to reconstruct past land use activities, e.g. through the analyses and quantification of pollen of crops and weeds. Several approaches have been proposed during the past ca. 50 years, some of them are widely used in Europe, the use of others is restricted to some regions. In this Swiss National Science project we conduct a systematic evaluation of the performance of different approaches across the continent. In a second step we aim at developing new techniques for a quantitative assessment of palynological human impact across different regions and biomes in Europe. These new numeric tools will be evaluated by comparison with the archaeological record. The main goal is to facilitate and objectify the interpretation of pollen records in regard to land use and human impact to better disentangle various forcings of long-term vegetational and ecosystem change. 


This project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)



Mara M. Deza Araujo, César Morales del Molino, Willy Tinner


Marco Conedera, Albert Hafner