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Modern pollen—vegetation—plant diversity relationships in northern Greece

In April and July 2019, within the frame of my master thesis project, I carried out fieldwork in northern Greece under the supervision of César MORALES-MOLINO. We conducted vegetation surveys at 61 sites located across large elevation and environmental gradients, and corresponding to the eight major vegetation types in the region. In collaboration with the EXPLO PhD projects of Kathrin GANZ and Antoine THÉVENAZ we also collected moss/topsoil and lake surface samples to analyse the modern pollen rain from different vegetation belts, from the seashore to the mountains. Finally, we assessed the pollen – vegetation linkages (including biodiversity) within the same vegetation survey region.


The analyses provide the basis for more robust and detailed pollen-based vegetation and plant diversity reconstructions. To our knowledge the pollen—plant diversity relationship has been assessed for the first time in the Mediterranean Basin, a global biodiversity hotspot. Ultimately, our data may also contribute to mitigate the ongoing biodiversity and climate crises.


We kindly acknowledge the permits issued by the Ministry for Environment and Energy, the Management Authorities of the Mount Olympus, North Pindos, and Koroneia Lakes National Parks as well as the Hellenic Survey of Geology & Mineral Exploration.


Carolina SENN, Bern