The effect of climate conditions on inter-annual flowering variability monitored by pollen traps below the canopy in Draved Forest, Denmark

Anne Birgitte Nielsen, Peter Friis Møller, Thomas Giesecke, Beth Stavngaard, Sonia L. Fontana, Richard H.W. Bradshaw

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Since 1967 annual pollen deposition has been monitored in the semi-natural mixed deciduous woodland Draved Forest by the Geological Survey of Denmark. In this paper, we analyse the variability in pollen accumulation rates for the eight most common deciduous trees, and their relationships to monthly temperature and precipitation. High summer temperatures in the year before flowering have a positive effect on pollen deposition for several species. A positive correlation between temperatures during the flowering season and pollen accumulation rates is found for Fagus sylvatica, Quercus robur, Fraxinus excelsior and Corylus avellana. The amount of precipitation can have both positive and negative effects on pollen accumulation, depending on species and on time of year. Linear modelling showed that combinations of monthly climate parameters could explain between 10 and 80% of the variation observed in different species. There were marked differences in the time series of pollen accumulation and pollen/climate relationships for some species between traps within the forest related to the location of trees near the traps. This underlines the importance of using multiple traps in a region for this type of study. Time series analyses were used to test for cyclicity in pollen accumulation rates, which could be caused by resource limitations or internal biological factors. No significant autocorrelations were found, although Alnus glutinosa showed a tendency towards 3-year cyclicity. These results indicate that, with the possible exception of Alnus glutinosa, temperature and precipitation are the main factors controlling the annual variability in pollen deposition of the trees in Draved Forest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-323
Number of pages15
JournalVegetation History and Archaeobotany
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Annual pollen accumulation rates
  • Pollen monitoring
  • Precipitation
  • Temperature

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


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