Preface


Following the foundation meeting of the EPMP in Finland in 1996, a set of guidelines was produced to standardise pollen monitoring procedure (Hicks et al. 1996). By the time of the second EPMP meeting, held in Roosta, Estonia, May 1998, investigators had experienced one full year of pollen trapping, including working up samples in the laboratory, counting the preparations and analysing the results. In the course of this inter-meeting period, various problems had arisen and the original guidelines were found not to be sufficiently specific to deal with them. This supplement, therefore, provides extra guidelines and also clarifies in more detail some aspects which were only touched on in the original set of guidelines. These guidelines are the product of all those who participated in the meeting (see Appendix I). The aim throughout is to keep monitoring as standardised as possible so that the resulting pollen influx values from diverse parts of Europe can be reliably compared.

The pollen monitoring results presented at the Roosta meeting clearly indicated the advantage of considering pollen influx values in addition to the more conventional percentage ones. No conclusions can be based on only one year of results but, taking into account longer series of data from parts of Europe where monitoring has been in progress for several years, certain trends are appearing together with certain 'surprises' which lead to much rethinking of the interpretation of pollen diagrams, particularly from mountainous areas. A short report of the meeting, including data illustrating these 'surprises' is being prepared.

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