Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 751–753 | Cite as

S. J. Brooks, P. G. Langdon and O. Heiri, The Identification and Use of Palaearctic Chironomidae Larvae in Palaeoecology. QRA Technical Guide No. 10

Quaternary Research Association, London, 2007, 276 pp, Paperback, £20.00, ISBN 0907 780 717
  • Klaus Peter BrodersenEmail author
Book Review

Chironomid paleoecology has developed rapidly over the last two decades. The chironomids (non-biting midges) are sensitive ecological indicators that closely reflect the climate and environment of the freshwater habitat in which they live during their four aquatic larval stages. The paleoecologist uses the well preserved chitinized larval head capsules (subfossils) from lake sediments to reconstruct past community structure (Walker 2001; Porinchu and MacDonald 2003).

One of the great advances in chironomid palaeoecology over the last 20 years has been the implementation of multivariate numerical analyses and development of so-called transfer functions for quantitative reconstruction of environmental variables from subfossil assemblages. A prerequisite for meaningful paleoenvironmental interpretation and for robust and reliable models, however, is sound, unambiguous, and consistent data input i.e., competent identification of the subfossil head capsules.

This new technical guide to...


  1. Porinchu DF, MacDonald GM (2003) The use and application of freshwater midges (Chironomidae: Insecta: Diptera) in geographical research. Prog Phys Geogr 27:378–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Walker IR (2001) Midges: Chironomidae and related Diptera. In: Smol JP, Birks HJB, Last WM (eds) Tracking environmental change using lake sediments, vol. 4. Zoological Indicators, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 43–66Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Freshwater Biological Laboratory, Biological InstituteUniversity of CopenhagenHillerodDenmark

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