Quaternary palynology commonly requires the use of acids such as hydrofluoric acid (HF), sulphuric acid (H2SO4), and hydrochloric acid (HCl) to extract pollen grains and spores. In some countries, restricted access to these acids makes fossil pollen studies challenging. Here, we propose an alternative pollen processing technique that does not require the use of acids. The methodology is mainly based on the use of potassium hydroxide (KOH) as a humic acid remover, sodium metaphosphate (NaPO3) and sodium pyrophosphate (Na4P2O7) as a deflocculant, and zinc chloride (ZnCl2) as a precursor for the flotation of the pollen grains. The techniques were tested and compared with a well-established and widely applied technique in palynology laboratories, which requires acids. For testing the techniques, 0.5cm3 of samples from three different sedimentary environments (peat, lake, and swamp) in Brazil were used. The technique using sodium metaphosphate was successful because the structure of the fossil pollen grains and spores showed no retention of extraneous organic matter, thus facilitating their morphological identifications. The pollen grain concentrations for the sample were equivalent to the treatment with acids. This protocol was developed to allow broader, safer, and cheaper access to palynological research, as the impediments represented by restrictions on reagent controls do not apply. This protocol also respects environmental protection policies.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 46 • No. 1