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Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 65–77 | Cite as

Diatom-temperature transfer functions based on the altitudinal zonation of diatom assemblages in Papua New Guinea: a possible tool in the reconstruction of regional palaeoclimatic changes

  • Wim Vyverman
  • Koen Sabbe
Article

Abstract

Indirect and direct gradient ordination techniques were used to study the relationship between present-day benthic and periphytic diatom assemblages and environmental factors along an altitudinal gradient in Papua New Guinea. Both within the screened initial data-set and a narrowly-defined subset of soft-water lakes, shifts in diatom assemblages are clearly related to altitudinal differences. This relation is used to construct transfer functions for inferring altitude (and hence average water temperature) from the diatom records. Calibration by canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and simple weighted averaging calibration proved to be superior to models using WA with tolerance downweighting and to a simple WA model based on a selection of 52 indicator taxa. From the calibration models and the linear relationship between altitude and epilimnetic water temperature, the average lake water temperature can be predicted with an accuracy of 3.2°C. After further refinement, a transfer function for palaeotemperature based on diatoms would be of potential value for climatic reconstructions in tropical regions.

Key words

diatom assemblages altitudinal gradient Papua New Guinea calibration palaeotemperature 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wim Vyverman
    • 1
  • Koen Sabbe
    • 1
  1. 1.Vakgroep Morfologie, Systematiek en EcologieLaboratorium plantkundeGentBelgium

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