The goal of virtualPollen is to provide the tools to simulate pollen curves over millenial time-scales generated by virtual taxa with different life traits (life-span, fecundity, growth-rate) and niche features (niche position and breadth) as a response to virtual environmental drivers with a given temporal autocorrelation. It furthers allow to simulate specific data properties of fossil pollen datasets, such as sediment accumulation rate, and depth intervals between consecutive pollen samples. The simulation outcomes are useful to better understand the role of plant traits, niche properties, and climatic variability in defining the shape of pollen curves.
The GitHub page of the package offers a complete tutorial on how to use the package. The paper published in the Ecography journal describes the foundations of the model in brief.
If you ever use the package, please, cite it as:
Benito, B.M., Gil‐Romera, G. and Birks, H.J.B. (2020), Ecological memory at millennial time‐scales: the importance of data constraints, species longevity and niche features. Ecography, 43: 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.04772