Ecological and Environmental Change Research Group

Vascular plants and their pollen- or spore-types in Norway

As a part of a project investigating the relationship between pollen richness and species richness today and in the past, it is necessary to be able to convert vascular plant species into pollen or spore types ('pollen equivalents'). We have attempted to list the corresponding pollen or spore types for all the native vascular plant species in Norway listed in Lid and Lid (2005) and, as far as possible, for all the non-native vascular plants in Norway listed in Lid and Lid (2005) (see .ods files below). These lists are far from complete and must be regarded as a first step in this work.

Vivian Felde, John Birks, Sylvia Peglar, John-Arvid Grytnes, and Anne Bjune

We list four assignments of plant species to pollen or spore types based on Beug (2004), Fægri et al. (1964, 1989), Moore et al. (1991), and Birks and Peglar (unpublished).

The Birks and Peglar assignments are based on the combined pollen and spore morphological experiences of Birks and Peglar, from 1966 to 2012. These observations are based on the extensive use of the pollen and spore reference collections in the former Botany School (now Department of Plant Sciences, although the pollen reference collections are now housed in the Department of Geography), University of Cambridge; Limnological Research Center, University of Minnesota; the former Danish Geological Survey, Copenhagen; and the Department of Biology, University of Bergen. As a result of these observations, Birks produced informal notes and keys for particular pollen and spore types as a part of his PhD work such as Caryophyllaceae, Saxifraga, Fabaceae, Rosaceae, Ranunculaceae, ferns, and Apiaceae. These keys and notes were used in Birks (1973) and in subsequent pollen-analytical studies in the UK, Norway, and Sweden by Peglar and Birks. They were updated as relevant accounts in the North-West European Flora were published and as more reference material was examined.

For some plants, particularly for the non-native taxa, we do not know what type of pollen the plant produces because of a lack of reference material or published descriptions.

These lists lack any explanatory notes. Bennett’s (1995-2007) compilation for the British Isles provides useful explanatory notes for many of the pollen and spore types in our Norwegian lists. The interested pollen analyst is referred to Bennett (1995-2007) or Birks (1973) for further details.

Any comments or input that can help us improve these lists would be most welcome.



Bennett, K.D. 1995-2007. Annotated catalogue of pollen and pteridophyte spore types of the British Isles. Department of Plant Science, University of Cambridge, Cambridge. (http://chrono.qub.ac.uk/pollen/pc-intro.html)

Beug, H.-J. 2004. Leitfaden der Pollenbestimmung für Mitteleuropa and angrezende Gebiete. Pfeil, Munch.

Birks, H.J.B. 1973. Past and Present Vegetation of the Isle of Skye – A Palaeoecological Study. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Fægri, K. & Iversen, I. 1964. Textbook of Pollen Analysis (2nd edition). Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.

Fægri, K., Kaland, P.E. & Krzywinski, K. 1989. Textbook of Pollen Analysis (4th edition). J. Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

Moore, P.D., Webb, J.A., & Collinson, M.E. 1991. Pollen Analysis (2nd edition). Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.

Lid, J. & Lid, D.T. 2005. Norsk flora (7th edition). Det Norske Samlaget, Oslo.