Modern influences on chironomid distribution in western Ireland: potential for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction

Potito, Aaron P., Woodward, Craig A., McKeon, Michelle and Beilman, David W. (2014) Modern influences on chironomid distribution in western Ireland: potential for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Journal of Paleolimnology, 52 4: 385-404. doi:10.1007/s10933-014-9800-8

Author Potito, Aaron P.
Woodward, Craig A.
McKeon, Michelle
Beilman, David W.
Title Modern influences on chironomid distribution in western Ireland: potential for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction
Journal name Journal of Paleolimnology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1573-0417
Publication date 2014-10-07
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10933-014-9800-8
Open Access Status
Volume 52
Issue 4
Start page 385
End page 404
Total pages 20
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Ireland provides a unique setting for the study of past climates, as its climate is dominated by westerly airflow from the North Atlantic and readily responsive to changes in North Atlantic circulation patterns. Although there has been substantial research on Ireland’s past environments, quantitative palaeolimnological research, especially chironomid-based research, has been lacking. In order to further develop chironomid-based palaeolimnological investigations, a calibration set was constructed to determine the dominant environmental controls on modern chironomids in western Ireland. Chironomid subfossils were collected from surface sediments of 50 lakes. The lakes were characterised with 36 environmental variables, including physical attributes, lake water characteristics, lake sediment characteristics and land cover within each catchment. In this exploratory study, no specific environmental variable was targeted and lakes were chosen to span gradients of latitude, elevation, depth and trophic status. Redundancy analysis showed that six environmental variables—mean July air temperature, lake depth, dissolved organic carbon, and percentage catchment land cover of agriculture, peat bog and scrubland—captured a large and statistically significant portion of the variance in the chironomid data. July temperature and agricultural land cover were the most dominant environmental variables, with July temperature proving the most suitable for inference model development. A classical weighted-averaging model was developed to estimate July air temperature, with a coefficient of determination (r2jack) of 0.60 and root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) of 0.57 °C. Results suggest that summer temperature is the dominant influence on chironomid distribution across a wide variety of lake types, and the relatively small RMSEP should allow for more accurate reconstructions of Ireland’s relatively subdued Holocene temperature fluctuations.
Keyword Chironomids
Inference model
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published Online 07 Oct 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2015 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Oct 2014, 15:32:12 EST by Lia Gardiner on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management