Databases and Collections

What is Palynology

Palynology is a branch of science that deals with the study of pollen and other microscopic organic particles called palynomorphs. These palynomorphs can include pollen, spores, algae, fungi and other tiny organic structures. In our department, the focus is on pollen.

Palynology uses various methods to extract information from these palynomorphs. We take samples from sediments and peats that have been deposited over time. These samples are then prepared by cleaning and chemically treating them to release the palynomorphs. They are then analysed under the microscope.

We identify and classify the different types of palynomorphs based on their morphological characteristics. We can identify pollen and spores by their shape, size, surface structure and other characteristics. This information can provide conclusions about the plant species and environmental conditions from which the palynomorphs originate.

Palynology has a wide range of applications. For example, it can be used in archaeology to gain information about past vegetation and environmental conditions. In vegetation history, palynomorphs can be used to date and reconstruct past ecosystems. And they help them understand changes in landscape and climate over time.

In summary, palynology involves the study of pollen and other microscopic organic particles and provides important information about past plant species and environmental conditions.

Datenbanken und Sammlungen

1. Reference collection of pollen and spores

  • Central Europe and Mediterranean
    2336 Slides from 635 genera with about 1487 species (Download PDF)
  • Asia

    • High Asia
      300 taxa
    • Mongolia
      580 Slides from 266 genera with abauot 578 species (Download PDF)
    • Indonesia
      477 slides from 293 genera with about 356 species (Download PDF)

  • Africa
    1480 slides from 246 genera with about 1440 species (Download PDF)
  • Latin America

    • Galápagos
      196 slides from 119 genera with about 196 species (Download PDF)
    • Ecuador
      600 slides from 340 genera with about 500 species (Download PDF)
    • South Brazil
      1487 slides from 757 genera with about 1425 species (Download PDF)

    • Neotropic collection (Prof. Dr. H. Behling)
      3000 taxa

2. Dendrolab collection and database of recent and subfossil woods

3. Collection of macro material (seeds) of

  • Central Europe
    136 families, approx.2818 taxa (Liste als PDF)
  • Archeaobotanical collection of Central Europe (Willerding)
    112 families, approx.1500 taxa
  • 4. Sample collection (sediments and botanical taxa)
    390 examples

    5. Photo database of neotropical pollen and spores

    At the moment we are working on a own database of pollen and spores.

    6. Palynology and Climate Dynamics library

    7. German Database on Vegetation History

    The pollen and spores image database is ofline!

    The database is developed following a strict data quality control, and includes pollen and spores taxa images linked to morphological information. The searching tool is at the moment not available online (due technical problems).

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