Highlights of articles members of the group read recently.

Newspaper articles:

The natural historian faces extinction: Overspecialism and funding cuts could end a vital scientific tradition, claim experts by Joe Kavanagh in The Independent

Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study by Steve Connor in The Independent.

Linked to this article:

Scientific papers:

Giesecke, T., Ammann, B. and Brande, A. (2014) Palynological richness and evenness: insights from the taxa accumulation curve. Vegetation history and archaeobotany. 32, 217 – 228.

SUMMARY (Hayley): “A new method is presented on splitting the log – transformed taxa accumulation curve into sections (natural breaks where the curve deviates from a linear trend), with the hypothesis that breaks in the curve could indicate shifts in abundance between high (e.g. wind pollinated taxa) and low producers of pollen (e.g. insect pollinated taxa), this hypothesis is tested on pollen diagrams from three separate pollen diagrams from varying landscapes.”

Katifori, E., Alben, S., Cerda, E., Nelson, D.R. & Dumais, J. (2010) Foldable structures and the natural design of pollen grains. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107, 7635-7639.

SUMMARY (Adele): “This elegant paper highlights the changeability of pollen grains and their responses to their environment, giving those of us who identify pollen based on morphological characteristics plenty to think about.”

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