Sebag,D., Copard,Y., Di-Giovanni,C., Durand,A., Laignel,B., Ogier,S. and Lallier-Verges,E.(2006): Palynofacies as useful tool to study origins and transfers of particulate organic matter in recent terrestrial environments: Synopsis and prospects. Earth-Science Reviews, 79, 241-259.


 Palynofacies analysis is based on transmitted light microscope study of organic constituents isolated and concentrated by acid and basic digestions. Published results of studies of present-day terrestrial environments show that two complementary approaches successfully characterize particulate organic matter (OM) from palynofacies analyses. The first method is based on the identification and the quantification of some typical particles (optical markers) according to their origin (i.e. aquatic or terrestrial), their nature (i.e. biogenic, anthropogenic, fossil), and/or their formation (i.e. biodegradation, combustion, oxidation). The second approach is based on the use of binary or ternary diagrams in order to define petrographical signatures from the relative proportions of significant organic constituents. This approach can be used for tracking i) changes in OM composition during humification in soil profiles, ii) transport of reworked terrestrial particles, iii) diagenesis of peaty deposits, or iv) weathering of geological substratum. The more advanced approach is based on the use of some predefined optical markers and their optical signatures to establish the relation between the OM compositions (palynofacies) and their depositional environments. In addition, this kind of study aims to define a modern frame of reference that can be applied in paleoenvironmental reconstructions. This paper combines a bibliographic review with previously unpublished data from palynofacies analyses. The aim is to present some applied examples illustrating (1) the main approaches developed for characterization of the particulate OM in surficial deposits, and (2) the study of OM transfers in terrestrial geosystems.

Keywords: organic matter; optical marker; sedimentary load; surficial deposits; soil; carbon cycle』

1. introduction
2. Palynofacies analysis
3. Characterization of particulate OM
 3.1. Optical markers
  3.1.1. Aquatic (planktonic) or terrestrial (higher plant) nature of OM
  3.1.2. Origin of terrestrial organic inputs
  3.1.3. Identification of fossil organic contributions
 3.2. Optical signature and palynofacies composition
  3.2.1. Characterization of soil OM in temperate environments
  3.2.2. Depositional environments of particulate OM in alluvial wetlands
  3.2.3. Distribution of particulate OM in catchments
4. Transfers of OM in continental geosystems
 4.1. Transformation of OM in the soil profiles
 4.2. Organic fluxes in wetlands, lakes and rivers
 4.3. Transfers of particulate OM in catchments
5. conclusions