Abstract

The present study aims to document modern pollen assemblages and compare them with the extant vegetation, through palynological analysis of 40 modern moss cushions, from the Akhnoor sector of Jammu District (Jammu and Kashmir), India. The study revealed that the pollen of Pinus sp. (average 62%) dominates the pollen assemblages. The over-representation of Pinus pollen could be attributed to its high pollen productivity and excellent pollen dispersal capacity. However, other conifers (needle-leaved taxa) as well as broad-leaved taxa, with a few exceptions, are either sporadically recorded or remain palynologically silent (present in the extant vegetation but absent in the recovered pollen assemblages). This discrepancy could be owing to their long-distance transport by wind and/or water from the upland areas/the higher reaches of the Himalaya. Tubuliflorae, Cerealia and other cultural pollen taxa, and Poaceae, are well to poorly represented in the pollen assemblages. The associates of sub-tropical deciduous forests are poorly represented in the pollen spectra because they are not wind pollinated nor are they high pollen producers. The extant vegetation of the sampling location in Akhnoor of Jammu province plays a pivotal role in the present study, which has important implications for the interpretation of vegetation dynamics and associated climate change during the Holocene on the Indian subcontinent.

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