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Taxonomy and phytoecology of palynomorphs and non-pollen palynomorphs: a refined compendium from the West Africa Margin

Biodiversity International Journal
Onema Adojoh,1,2 Marret Fabienne,Robert Duller,Peter Osterloff3


Late Quaternary low latitude tropical pollen study often pose difficulties during microscopic identifications due to their high diversification and complex nature. This compendium is an illustrated guide to the identification of sporomorphs (pollen and spores) and non-pollen palynomorphs (NPPs) preserved and recovered from 3 gravity cores (GCs) in deltaic-sedimentary records of the Niger Delta, West Africa. The precise and reliable identification of palynomorphs and non-pollen palynomorphs (NPPs) is indispensable to permit comprehensive deduction to be made regarding past environmental change, phytoecological and biogeographical distributions of fossil pollen and NPPs.

Identifications of key taxa in this study were best achieved through the direct inspection of reference materials mostly from Africa, and to some extent around the globe. Outlines of the technique(s) used to describe the taxa identified in this study were based on recording of the key species by observing: the morphological descriptions, wall composition, size, grain pores and sculptures through identification of microphotography components. The generic groups of taxa identified were linked to their distinct phylogeny such as angiosperm / gymnosperm pollen, pteridophyte/bryophyte spores and non-pollen palynomorphs (NPPs) from West Africa. The generic identification of grouping provides new insight on the basic distinction surrounding the vegetation habitat, pollen, spores and NPPs types.Thus, the current update would serve as the refinement to the previous study in the region based on the compiled taxa descriptions, photomontage (images) of sporomorphs and NPPs. This information could rejuvenate some of the misnomers on taxonomy, phytoecology, botanical family affinity, and geographical origin of sporomorph and NPPs across the West Africa, and around the globe through time.


late quaternary, taxonomy; phytoecology, biogeography, angiosperm pollen, pteridophyte spores, Niger delta