The expression of pollen data from sediments in terms of the absolute numbers (for each species, genus, or family) per unit area of surface and, where deposition rates are known, per unit time. In certain circumstances this approach gives clearer information than does the traditional expression as relative pollen frequencies (RPFs). APFs are particularly useful in site comparisons in which one or more high-pollen producers vary. For example, when trees first appear in the regional pollen rain their prolific pollen may, in an RPF method, give the impression of declining herbaceous species, whereas examination by an APF method will show constant values for herb species.
Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Plant Sciences and Forestry.