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Palynology or Pollen analysis (also sometimes referred to as micropaleontology) is the science that studies pollen, spores, and other acid-resistant microfossils in sediments with the goal of reconstructing past climates and plant populations. It uses many techniques from other fields such as geology, botany, paleontology, archaeology, pedology, and geography.

Because relative distributions of pollen and spores give clues to ancient biostratigraphy and environments, one common and lucrative application of palynology is in oil and gas exploration.

Palynology also allows scientists to infer the climatic conditions from the vegetation present in an area thousands or millions of years ago. This is a fundamental part of research into climate change.

See also