Palaeoecology is the ecology of the past and is concerned with the reconstruction of past flora, fauna, populations, communities, landscapes, and environments and with the understanding of the causes of observed changes seen in the palaeoecological record preserved as fossil pollen, seeds, and animal remains in lake or bog sediments. The palaeoecological record is a natural long-term ecological observatory. It is a means of "coaxing history to conduct experiments" because in many environmental sciences, " when time is needed, there is no substitute for history"
The Bergen Palaeoecological Laboratory (BPL) has made several unique contributions to the politically important applied topics of the causes of surface-water acidification in Norway and of the magn itude and rates of natural climate variability and to many basic research questions.
The BPL is the leading palaeoecological laboratory in Norway and it has a high international standing and outstanding publication record.
This application is for new in frastructure (environmental scanning electron microscope; eInfrastructure; automated pollen counting equipment; extraction and micromanipulation equipment for pollen for radiocarbon, DNA, isotope, and UV-B analyses; Coulter counter; microscopes; technical personnel) that will enable the BPL to research on new and important problems in palaeoecology.
The infrastructure would form a very strong national and international facility and would enhance the high national and international standing of the BPL and of Norwegian palaeoecology internationally.