“Pollen richness, a cautionary tale” is out in the Journal of Ecology

I have a new paper out in the Journal of Ecology here.  The article also contains a supplement with R Markdown code that will allow users to reproduce the analysis in the article nearly faithfully (here, and as a code repository on GitHub here if you want to fork it and modify the code).

Figure 5 from Goring et al., the relationships between plant richness and smoothed pollen richness and vice versa both show a slightly negative relationship (accounting for very little variability), meaning higher plant richness is associated with lower pollen richness.
Figure 5 from Goring et al., the relationships between plant richness and smoothed pollen richness and vice versa both show a slightly negative relationship (accounting for very little variability), meaning higher plant richness is associated with lower pollen richness.

The paper sets out to test whether pollen richness is truly a measure of plant richness in a modern context in British Columbia.  Using a network of 16,000 plant sample plots and 167 lake sediment records from across British Columbia we show that pollen cannot be counted on to faithfully reproduce plant richness in this region.  We show that rarefaction plays little role in the lack of a relationship between plant species richness and pollen taxonomic richness, and that the taxonomic smoothing between plant species and the representative pollen morphotypes does degrade the relationship, but that some signal still exists. Continue reading “Pollen richness, a cautionary tale” is out in the Journal of Ecology