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The effect of sample size and resolution on palaeomalacological interpretations: a case study from calcareous-fen deposits

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Rok publikování 2015
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Přírodovědecká fakulta

Popis Traditionally, in central Europe, quaternary mollusc successions are almost exclusively approached on the basis of dug pits, with samples of larger volumes and rather coarser resolution. Although several studies have dealt with the effect of sampling design on palaeoecological interpretation (mainly in palynology), in palaeomalacology this effect has not yet been investigated. We aim to test (1) if and to what extent smaller sample size impoverishes species richness and (2) if fine resolution sampling is worth the effort. We studied fossiliferous sediments of the Holocene age excavated at the Mituchovci spring fen (the White Carpathian Mts, SW Slovakia). Three molluscan successions, differing in sample size (100 ml vs 350 ml) and resolution (5 cm vs ~15 cm), were collected at this single site during 2010 and 2012. A total number of more than 36 thousand specimens of 76 species were determined. Using rarefaction method, we noticed that differences in volume sizes did not have a significant effect on the species richness in this type of environment. Hence, 100 ml samples are sufficient for the analyses in tufa deposits. Although the thickness of sampled layers had no influence on the palaeoecological interpretation, we observed a shift in molluscan diversity peak when different resolutions were applied. Furthermore, the layers of finer resolution allowed a detailed radiocarbon dating and better understanding of trends in species dynamics.
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