Response of littoral chironomid community and organic matter to late glacial lake level and environmental changes at Lago dell'Accesa (Tuscany, Italy).

Abstract : This study focuses on the response of lacustrine littoral chironomid communities to late glacial changes in limnological, environmental and climate conditions in the Mediterranean context. Late glacial chironomid (Diptera: Chironomidae) assemblages, organic petrography and geochemistry were analysed in a sediment core from the littoral zone of Lago dell'Accesa (Tuscany, Italy), where the lake-level fluctuations and the vegetation history have been previously reconstructed. Comparison of the chironomid stratigraphy to other proxies (pollen assemblages, organic petrography and geochemistry, lake-level) and regional climate reconstruction suggested the predominant influence of lake-level changes on the littoral chironomid fauna. The main lowering events that occurred during the Oldest and the Younger Dryas were followed by higher proportions of taxa typical of littoral habitats. A complementary study of organic matter suggested the indirect impact of lake-level on the chironomids through changes in humic status and habitat characteristics, such as the type of substrate and aquatic macrophyte development. Several chironomid taxa, such as Glyptotendipes, Microtendipes and Cricotopus type patens, were identified as possible indicators of low lake-level in the late glacial records. Nevertheless, this study suggested that parallel analyses of organic matter and chironomid assemblages may be needed to circumvent misinterpretation of littoral chironomid assemblage stratigraphy. There was a weak response of the chironomid assemblages to small lake-level lowerings that corresponded to the Older Dryas and Preboreal oscillations. A higher level of determination, e.g. to the species group level, may be necessary to increase the sensibility of the indicators to lake-level changes.
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Laurent Millet, Boris Vannière, Michel Magny, Jacques-Louis de Beaulieu, Jean-Robert Disnar, et al.. Response of littoral chironomid community and organic matter to late glacial lake level and environmental changes at Lago dell'Accesa (Tuscany, Italy).. Journal of Paleolimnology, Springer Verlag, 2007, 38, pp.525-539. ⟨10.1007/s10933-007-9088-z⟩. ⟨hal-00085520⟩

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