Volume 43, Issue 2 (March 1998)
Forensic Palynology: Variation in the Pollen Content of Soil Surface Samples
Surface soil samples from several localized areas were analyzed for pollen and compared using an ordination analysis. The aim was to objectively establish the forensic value of using soil samples to link people or objects to crime scenes. This was done by determining the degree to which pollen assemblages of surface soil samples from within the same localized area differ, and the degree to which the pollen assemblage of a surface soil sample from within a localized area differs from distant localized areas of similar vegetation type. Samples from within the same localized area (the control site) showed a high degree of similarity, suggesting that pollen assemblages of surface soil samples from within a localized area are homogeneous. Results also showed that localized areas of similar vegetation type, even within the same geographic region, have significantly different pollen assemblages.