Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Quantitative Interpretation of Fossil Pollen Spectra: Dissimilarity Coefficients and the Method of Modern Analogs

  • J. T. Overpeck (a1), T. Webb (a1) and I. C. Prentice (a2)
Abstract

Dissimilarity coefficients measure the difference between multivariate samples and provide a quantitative aid to the identification of modern analogs for fossil pollen samples. How eight coefficients responded to differences among modern pollen samples from eastern North America was tested. These coefficients represent three different classes: (1) unweighted coefficients that are most strongly influenced by large-valued pollen types, (2) equal-weight coefficients that weight all pollen types equally but can be too sensitive to variations among rare types, and (3) signal-to-noise coefficients that are intermediate in their weighting of pollen types. The studies with modern pollen allowed definition of critical values for each coefficient, which, when not exceeded, indicate that two pollen samples originate from the same vegetation region. Dissimilarity coefficients were used to compare modern and fossil pollen samples, and modern samples so similar to fossil samples were found that most of three late Quaternary pollen diagrams could be “reconstructed” by substituting modern samples for fossil samples. When the coefficients indicated that the fossil spectra had no modern analogs, then the reconstructed diagrams did not match all aspects of the originals. No modern analogs existed for samples from before 9300 yr B.P. at Kirchner Marsh, Minnesota, and from before 11,000 yr B.P. at Wintergreen Lake, Michigan, but modern analogs existed for almost all Holocene samples from these two sites and Brandreth Bog, New York.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

A.M. Bent H.E. Wright Jr. 1963 Pollen analyses of surface materials and lake sediments from the Chuska Mountains, New Mexico Geological Society of America Bulletin 74 491500

H.J.B. Birks 1976 Late-Wisconsin vegetational history at Wolf Creek, central Minnesota Ecological Monographs 46 395429

H.R. Delcourt P.A. Delcourt T. Webb III 1983 Dynamic plant ecology: The spectrum of vegetational change in time and space Quaternary Science Reviews 1 153175

S.E. Howe T. Webb III 1983 Calibrating pollen data in climatic terms: Improving the methods Quaternary Science Reviews 2 1751

C.R. Janssen 1966 Stevens Pond: A postglacial pollen diagram from a small Typha swamp in north-western Minnesota, interpreted from pollen indicators and surface samples Ecological Monographs 37 145172

T. Kailath 1967 The divergence and distance measures in signal selection IEEE Transactions on Communications Technology 15 5260

W.J. Krzanowski 1971 A comparison of some distance measures applicable to some multinomial data, using a rotational fit technique Biometrics 27 10621068

H.F. Lamb 1984 Modern pollen spectra from Labrador and their use in reconstructing Holocene vegetational history Journal of Ecology 72 3759

J.H. McAndrews 1968 Pollen evidence for the protohistoric development of the “Bigwoods” in Minnesota (U.S.A.) Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 7 201211

J.H. McAndrews H.E. Wright Jr. 1969 Modern pollen rain across Wyoming basins and the northern Great Plains (U.S.A.) Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 9 1743

M. Nei 1972 Genetic distance between populations American Naturalist 106 283292

J.G. Ogden III 1977 Pollen analysis: State of the art Géographie physique et Quaternaire 31 151159

R.W. Parsons I.C. Prentice 1981 Statistical approaches to R-values and the pollen vegetation relationship Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 32 127152

I.C. Prentice 1980 Multidimensional scaling as a research tool in Quaternary palynology: A review of theory and methods Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 31 71104

C.R. Rao 1977 Cluster analysis applied to a study of race mixture in human populations J. van Ryzin Classification and Clustering Academic Press New York 175197

J.C. Ritchie 1977 The modern and late Quaternary vegetation of the Campbell-dolomite uplands, near Inuvik, N.W.T. Canada Ecological Monographs 47 401423

J.C. Ritchie G.A. Yarranton 1978 The Late-Quaternary history of the boreal forests of central Canada, based on standard pollen stratigraphy and principal components analysis Journal of Ecology 66 199212

T. Webb III 1973 A comparison of modern and presettlement pollen from southern Michigan (U.S.A.) Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 16 137156

T. Webb III 1974 Corresponding patterns of pollen and vegetation in lower Michigan: A comparison of quatitative data Ecology 55 1728

T. Webb III R.A. Laseski J.C. Bernabo 1978a Sensing vegetational pattern with pollen data: Choosing the data Ecology 59 11511163

T. Webb III G.Y. Yeracaris P. Richard 1978b Mapped patterns in sediment samples of modern pollen from southeastern Canada and northeastern United States Géographie physique et Quaternaire 32 163176

D.R. Whitehead 1981 Late-Pleistocene vegetational changes in northeastern North Carolina Ecological Monographs 51 451471

H.E. Wright Jr. 1967 The use of surface samples in Quaternary pollen analysis Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 2 321330

H.E. Wright Jr. T.C. Winter H.L. Patten 1963 Two pollen diagrams from southeastern Minnesota: Problems in the regional late-glacial and postglacial vegetational history Geological Society of America Bulletin 74 13711396

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 95 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 28th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.