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scientific discipline concerned with the study of plant pollen and spores and certain microscopic planktonic organisms, in both living and fossil form. The field is associated with the plant sciences as well as with the geologic sciences, notably those aspects dealing with stratigraphy, historical geology, and paleontology. Accordingly, the scope of palynologic research is extremely broad, ranging from the analysis of pollen morphology with electron microscopes to the study of organic microfossils (palynomorphs) extracted from ancient coals.