Comparative collections - physical and digital

As a basic tool, various comparative collections are available in environmental archaeology.

Comparative collection KielComparison of tropical pollen grains and spores (Asia-Indonesia)
The collection currently comprises microscopic specimens of approximately 400 pollen grains and spores of tropical plant species predominantly from Indonesia/Asia. The embedding medium is predominantly silicone oil but also glycerin. Pollen and spores were collected in various herbaria (National Herbarium Nederland, Leiden; Herbarium Bogoriense, Indonesia) and supplemented by material from the collection of Dr. Heike Culmsee, University of Göttingen. Photographs of pollen grains and spores from the comparative collection are also accessible via the Australasian Pollen and Spore Atlas (APSA) from Palaeoworks, ANU Canberra, Australia.

Taxalists tropical pollens (PDF) and spores (PDF)

Photo archive of subfossil plant remnants
Large plant remains from soil archives are exposed to numerous environmental influences during their deposition. The texture, form and color change and the remnants are only partially comparable with recent material. Therefore it's particularly important to apply comparative collections with subfossil material in addition to extensive collections of modern seeds and fruits. The photo archive includes more than 200 photographs of Dusanka Kucan (NIhK, Wilhelmshaven) and Wiebke Kirleis. It's intensely used for teaching.

Comparison of living fruits and seeds
An extensive comparative collection of recent fruits and seeds (about 14,000 taxa) is available for archaeobotanical research. The focus is on Central Europe but also alpine and mediterranean species are available.

Comparison of Central European and Mediterranean pollen grains and spores
The institute's comparative collection of modern pollen grains and spores from Central Europe and the Mediterranean region comprises about 3,200 taxa.

Non-pollen-palynomorhs (NPP) database as NPP-wiki-platform
Non-pollen palynomorphs (NPP) are microfossils that are regularly deposited in sediments. Data on NPP are usually collected in conjunction with pollen analyses. NPPs comprise a variety of organic remains, including fungal spores and hyphae, algal cells and cysts, cyanobacteria, test amoebae, eggshells of parasites and other remains of invertebrates and plants that occur in a variety of ecological niches, e.g. on rotting wood, in dung, under certain moisture, nutrient and salinity conditions, or after fire or erosion events. With their specific properties, many NPPs are important indicators of local deposition conditions. In the NPP-Wiki-Platform the NPP types (>1400) described so far are listed centrally and provided with a photograph, description of the specific properties and with references to literature; the database is updated regularly. The database allows direct, bundled access to this information, which is otherwise scattered in various publication organs, and is thus an important tool for the determination and interpretation of NPP.