Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 397–404 | Cite as

Diatom assemblage dynamics during abrupt climate change: the response of lacustrine diatoms to Dansgaard–Oeschger cycles during the last glacial period

  • Linda AmpelEmail author
  • Barbara Wohlfarth
  • Jan Risberg
  • Daniel Veres
  • Melanie J. Leng
  • Päivi Kaislahti Tillman
Original Paper


The sedimentary record from the paleolake at Les Echets in eastern France allowed a reconstruction of the lacustrine response to several abrupt climate shifts during the last glacial period referred to as Dansgaard–Oeschger (DO) cycles. The high-resolution diatom stratigraphy has revealed distinct species turnover events and large fluctuations in stable oxygen isotope values in diatom frustules, as a response to DO climate variability. More or less identical species compositions became re-established during each DO stadial and interstadial phases, respectively. However, the relative abundance of the most dominant species within these assemblages varies and might indicate differences in climatic conditions. Interstadial phases are characterized by identical species successions. Transitions from stadial to interstadial conditions show a distinct FragilariaCyclotella succession, which resembles the diatom regime shifts that have been recognized in some lakes in the Northern Hemisphere since the mid-nineteenth century.


Diatoms Oxygen Isotopes Les Echets Dansgaard–Oeschger cycles 



This article is a contribution to the Eurocores on Euroclimate project RESOLuTION. We acknowledge financial support from the Swedish Research Council. We thank Hilary Sloane (NIGL) for providing the diatom oxygen isotope analysis and Gustaf Hugelius and Christian Bigler for valuable advice and suggestions. Two anonymous reviewers provided constructive comments and suggestions on a previous version of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Ampel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Barbara Wohlfarth
    • 2
  • Jan Risberg
    • 1
  • Daniel Veres
    • 3
  • Melanie J. Leng
    • 4
    • 5
  • Päivi Kaislahti Tillman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary GeologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Geology and GeochemistryStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.“Emil Racovita” Speleological InstituteCluj NapocaRomania
  4. 4.NERC Isotope Geosciences LaboratoryBritish Geological SurveyNottinghamUK
  5. 5.School of GeographyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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