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Pollen in Fecal Pellets as an Environmental Indicator
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- Pollen in Fecal Pellets as an Environmental Indicator
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- Identification of pollen in fecal pellets is a potential technique for describing an animals diet and in turn the vegetation of an area. Mule deer and Bighorn Sheep pellets representing both summer and winter browsing and a variety of habitats were examined using relative percentages and the absolute pollen frequencies. In addition, fossil pellets from Stanton's Cave, Grand Canyon, Arizona, were examined and compared with modern pellets. Absolute pollen frequencies of individual pellets showed higher values and greater variation for summer pellets than for winter pellets. Relative pollen percentages for a specific vegetation type showed more variation in fecal pellets than in soil surface samples. Unless specifically being eaten, arboreal pollen types such as Pinus are less abundant in fecal pellets than in soil samples. Unlike soil surface samples, arboreal pollen types in fecal pellets are frequently limited to the immediate source area.
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- University of Arizona
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- Martin, Paul S.
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