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The study of spores, pollen, microorganisms, and microscopic fragments of megaorganisms that occur in sediments.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the aggregate of branches of science (above all, botany) dealing with the study of pollen grains and spores. Many scientists define palynology as an independent science studying pollen and spores and their dissemination and uses. The term “palynology” was proposed in 1944 by the English paleobotanists H. Hyde and D. Williams.

The principal subdivision of palynology is palynomorphology, which studies the shape, structure, and development of spores and pollen grains (male gametophytes of seed plants). The ex-tines and, less frequently, the perinia have characteristic morphological features that are important in spore-pollen analysis. Comparative palynomorphological research is used in the taxonomy of plants (palynotaxonomy) and in the study of the dissemination and fossilization of pollen grains and spores.

Spore-pollen analysis, primarily of sedimentary rocks and peat, helps solve various paleobotanical, geomorphological, and geological (stratigraphic) problems. Palynologists also study the composition of beebread and pollen in honey (mellittopalynology). The study of pollen grains and spores is valuable in determining the causes of certain types of allergies (medical palynology). Spore-pollen analysis is also used in criminology (forensic palynology). The use of spores and pollen grains for the production of alloyed steel is also under study.


Neishtadt, M. I. Palinologiia v SSSR (1952–1957). Moscow, 1960.
Sladkov, A. N. Vvedenie v sporovo-pyl’tsevoi analiz. Moscow, 1967.
Erdtman, G. Introduction till palynologin. Stockholm, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Palynological investigations of the Saar coals (part 1-Morphography of Sporae dispersae).
Palynological studies of some weeds of asteraceae from Pakistan.
Table 3 Palynological references for Xyridaceae (a) Taxon Reference Abolboda acaulis Maguire Carlquist, 1960 Abolboda bella Maguire Carlquist, 1960 Abolboda ebracteata Maguire & Wurdack var.
Vienna: Society of the Promotion of Palynological Research in Austria;
Dry forests and gallery forests probably existed in the regions between the postulated humid rainforest refugia, where variously extensive wooded savannas and gallery forests dominated the landscape, as suggested by fossil mammals found in the Acre region of western Brazil (Rancy, 1991; 1993; Webb and Rancy, 1996; Latrubesse and Rancy, 1998) and by palynological data from the upper Rio Madeira region (Van der Hammen and Absy, 1994).
Palynological physicochemical and colour characterization of Moroccan honeys.
Based on the palynological correlation it is found that all these sediments were deposited in relatively calm environment preferably of lacustrine origin.