Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 669–691

Are fossil assemblages in a single sediment core from a small lake representative of total deposition of mite, chironomid, and plant macrofossil remains?

  • Marianne Presthus Heggen
  • Hilary H. Birks
  • Oliver Heiri
  • John-Arvid Grytnes
  • H. John B. Birks
Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10933-012-9637-y

Cite this article as:
Heggen, M.P., Birks, H.H., Heiri, O. et al. J Paleolimnol (2012) 48: 669. doi:10.1007/s10933-012-9637-y

Abstract

How representative of the whole-lake fossil assemblage are analyses from a single sediment core taken in the centre of a small lake? This question was addressed in five shallow Norwegian lakes that ranged in location from low-altitude, boreal-deciduous forest to mid-alpine environments. Surface-sediment samples were taken from the deepest part of each lake and in two transects running from the lake centre to shore, and analysed for mites, chironomids, and plant remains. Ordination techniques summarised patterns of variation between and within lakes. Correlations between whole-lake assemblages and water depth and sediment organic content (loss-on-ignition) were investigated. Representativeness of each sample of the whole-lake assemblage was determined by comparing Principal Components Analysis scores of the original data with those of Monte Carlo-simulated data sets, using the actual data as constraints in the simulations. The majority of samples are representative of the whole-lake assemblages. Littoral samples, however, are most frequently unrepresentative or poorly representative samples. Water depth is an important controlling variable. A sediment core from the lake centre has the highest probability of representing the whole-lake assemblage. It may, however, also yield the lowest concentrations of terrestrial remains. A sediment core from the slope is slightly more likely to be unrepresentative of the total plant macrofossil assemblage, but generally has higher concentrations of terrestrial remains. These site differences should be considered when choosing a core location. Overall, the three fossil types are deposited in similar patterns. Therefore they can be satisfactorily analysed using a single core.

Keywords

Within-lake deposition patterns Representativeness Oribatid mites Chironomids Plant macrofossils Modern sediment samples Monte Carlo simulations 

Supplementary material

10933_2012_9637_MOESM1_ESM.doc (218 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 218 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marianne Presthus Heggen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hilary H. Birks
    • 1
  • Oliver Heiri
    • 3
    • 4
  • John-Arvid Grytnes
    • 1
  • H. John B. Birks
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationBergen University CollegeBergenNorway
  3. 3.Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Palaeoecology, Institute of Environmental BiologyUtrecht UniversityCD UtrechtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Institute of Plant Sciences and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change ResearchUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  5. 5.Environmental Change Research CentreUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  6. 6.School of Geography and the EnvironmentUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations