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The Use of Multivariate Analysis and Modern Analogue Sites as an Aid to the Interpretation of Data from Fossil Mollusc Assemblages

M. B. Bush
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 15, No. 5/6 (Sep. - Nov., 1988), pp. 849-861
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2845345
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2845345
Page Count: 17
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The Use of Multivariate Analysis and Modern Analogue Sites as an Aid to the Interpretation of Data from Fossil Mollusc Assemblages
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Abstract

Multivariate analysis techniques have been applied successfully to display the ecological separation of fossil and modern pollen spectra. In this study the same statistical techniques were applied to mollusc data and proved successful in aiding the interpretation of the fossil assemblages. A fossil mollusc record from the Yorkshire Wolds and modern mollusc assemblages from a variety of chalkland habitats were utilized to demostrate the application of the multivariate analysis techniques DCA, TWINSPAN and POLZON. It was found that these techniques, which utilize the whole assemblage, rather than relying on subjectively chosen indicator species, provided a coherent palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. The resultant ordination diagram clearly displays how the fossil mollusc record represents an environmental gradient from a late-glacial open water site, through a flushed fen, to a modern valley carr, findings which are accord with the pollen, plant macrofossil coleopteran data from this site.

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