It is essential that palynologists adequately and effectively illustrate the specimens they study. The best way to do this for formal publication is to prepare ‘plates’ (montages) of photomicrographs. This now somewhat arcane term originated as a reference to the use of copper/steel and then glass plates in pre-film photography. In order to maximise visual impact and information, plates of palynomorphs should be prepared with utmost care. If assembled so that, for example, the images are arranged neatly with consistent orientations, and depict the best preserved and most representative specimens available with minimum extraneous palynodebris, the plate will have enhanced aesthetic appeal and, crucially, the scientific significance of the association being illustrated will be greatly enhanced. Specifically, the material will be effective as an identification guide, and facilitate further interpretations. Plates today are assembled digitally; accordingly, the user must have access to suitable software, and be able to use it effectively.

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