Subfossil chironomid assemblages in deep, stratified European lakes: relationships with temperature, trophic state and oxygen

Verbruggen, F. and Heiri, O. and Meriläinen, J. J. and Lotter, A. F.. (2011) Subfossil chironomid assemblages in deep, stratified European lakes: relationships with temperature, trophic state and oxygen. Freshwater Biology, 56 (3). pp. 407-423.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/67707/

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1. The distributions of subfossil remains of chironomid larvae in 28 large, deep and stratified lakes in Europe were examined in surface sediments along a latitudinal transect ranging from northern Sweden to southern Italy. 2. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) showed that summer surface water and July air temperature, as well as total phosphorus (TP) concentrations, hypolimnetic oxygen availability and conductivity were statistically significant (P < 0.05) explanatory variables explaining between 11 and 14% of the variance in the chironomid data. 3. Owing to the spatial scale covered by our study, many environmental variables were covarying. Temperature, TP concentration and oxygen availability were positively or negatively correlated with the first axis of a detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) of chironomid assemblages, suggesting that climatic and trophic conditions influenced profundal chironomid assemblages either in a direct (food and oxygen) or in an indirect (temperature) way. Parameters related to local environmental conditions, lake morphology and bedrock geology, such as organic matter content of the sediment, maximum lake depth, Secchi depth and pH, were not significant in explaining the distribution of chironomid assemblages in our study lakes. 4. The strong relationship between chironomid assemblages and summer temperature may be related to the covariation of temperature with parameters, such as nutrient and oxygen availability, known to affect chironomid assemblages in deep, stratified lakes. However, summer temperature explained a statistically significant proportion of the variance in the chironomid assemblages even when effects of oxygen availability and TP concentrations were partialled out. This suggests that summer temperature has an effect on chironomid assemblages in deep lakes, which is not related to its covariation with trophic state. 5. The potential of fossil chironomid analysis for quantitatively reconstructing past nutrient conditions in deep, stratified lakes was examined by calculating the Benthic Quality Index (BQI) based on subfossil chironomids and by comparing BQI values with observed TP concentrations. BQI was linearly related to log-transformed TP. Applying this relationship to fossil chironomid assemblages from Lake Paijanne (Finland) produced a TP reconstruction in agreement with measured TP during the period 1970-1990, demonstrating that this approach can provide quantitative estimates of past nutrient concentrations in deep, stratified lakes.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Geoökologie (Heiri)
UniBasel Contributors:Heiri, Oliver
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:30 Nov 2020 13:05
Deposited On:30 Nov 2020 13:05

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