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Pollen of Malagasy grasses as a potential tool for interpreting grassland palaeohistory
- Needham, Isabelle, Vorontsova, Maria S., Banks, Hannah, Rudall, Paula J.
- Grana 2015 v.54 no.4 pp. 247-262
- Poaceae, fossils, grasses, grasslands, indigenous species, interspecific variation, pollen, scanning electron microscopy, Madagascar
- Poaceae pollen grains are notoriously difficult to use as a tool for eco-palynological studies due to their relatively uniform morphology. This article uses light and scanning electron microscopy to describe the pollen morphology of 31 species of Malagasy grasses, including 11 endemic species and seven endemic genera that are described here for the first time. Our ultimate goal is to use these data to differentiate between primary and secondary grasslands in Madagascar, which is of important conservation significance. Our data show some species differences that are promising for future identification of fossil grains. Pollen morphological details are imaged and discussed.