Pollen in layers of seasonal snow in the South of Western Siberia

Abstract

N. Kuryatnikova, N. Malygina, D. Pershin

Snow cover affects and regulates many ecological patterns and processes. Pollen has been actively used to indicate ecosystem, cryosphere, and climatic processes and states. However, the relationships between pollen deposition and snow layering have not yet been sufficiently studied. In this work, we focus on assessing the interrelations between the taxa composition of pollen in different layers of the seasonal snow cover in the western Siberian forest-steppe ecoregion. The snowpack had a composite profile consisting of crusts and layers of faceted crystals and deep hoar between them. The lower deep layer of the hoar represented the maximum diversity of pollen grains (Pinus sp., Artemisia sp., Chenopodiaceae). Pollen transfer likely occurred when the surrounding territories (potential sources of secondary pollen input) were still open from the snow. In addition, we revealed that ice and melt-freeze crusts could prevent redistribution of pollen grains in the snowpack during winter, thereby providing a high taxonomic diversity. The five recognized taxa (Betula sp., Pinus sp., Artemisia sp., Asteraceae, and Chenopodiaceae) were identified between two layers of crust.

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