Analysis of 170 pollen assemblages from surface samples in eight vegetation types in the Florida Everglades indicates that these wetland sub-environments are distinguishable from the pollen record and that they are useful proxies for hydrologic and edaphic parameters. Vegetation types sampled include sawgrass marshes, cattail marshes, sloughs with floating aquatics, wet prairies, brackish marshes, tree islands, cypress swamps, and mangrove forests. The distribution of these vegetation types is controlled by specific environmental parameters, such as hydrologic regime, nutrient availability, disturbance level, substrate type, and salinity; ecotones between vegetation types may be sharp. Using R-mode cluster analysis of pollen data, we identified diagnostic species groupings; Q-mode cluster analysis was used to differentiate pollen signatures of each vegetation type. Cluster analysis and the modern analog technique were applied to interpret vegetational and environmental trends over the last two millennia at a site in Water Conservation Area 3A. The results show that close modern analogs exist for assemblages in the core and indicate past hydrologic changes at the site, correlated with both climatic and land-use changes. The ability to differentiate marshes with different hydrologic and edaphic requirements using the pollen record facilitates assessment of relative impacts of climatic and anthropogenic changes on this wetland ecosystem on smaller spatial and temporal scales than previously were possible. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
Additional publication details
Pollen assemblages as paleoenvironmental proxies in the Florida Everglades