Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 41–52

Mass occurance and sporadic distribution of Corynocera ambigua Zetterstedt (Diptera, Chironomidae) in Danish lakes. Neo- and palaeolimnological records

  • Klaus Peter Brodersen
  • Claus Lindegaard

DOI: 10.1023/A:1008032619776

Cite this article as:
Brodersen, K.P. & Lindegaard, C. Journal of Paleolimnology (1999) 22: 41. doi:10.1023/A:1008032619776


The chironomid Corynocera ambigua (Tanytarsini) is commonly reported as a cold-stenothermal species living in shallow lakes in arctic and subarctic regions. In palaeoecological studies of temperate lakes, larval remains of C. ambigua are usually found in late-glacial sediments from the Allerød and Younger Dryas periods, and often in association with subfossil Chara oospores. During a surface sampling program of chironomid head-capsules in 41 Danish temperate lakes, C. ambigua was found to comprise 25% of the chironomid assemblages in two lakes, and was sporadically found in 8 other lakes (0.5-10%). A 70 cm palaeo-stratigraphy from the shallow (max depth 1.2 m) and eutrophic (total phosphorus = 150 μg P l-1) Lake Stigsholm showed that C. ambigua has been abundant in the last 4-5 centuries. At a sediment level of 25 cm (~year 1925, 210Pb dating), C. ambigua began to decrease in frequency while Chironomus plumosus, Procladius sp., Cladotanytarsus gr. mancus and Tanytarsus spp. increased, suggesting an increased nutrient loading and an approach to eutrophic conditions. In 1995 C. ambigua was still very abundant in Lake Stigsholm but in early March 1997 no living larvae were found. An extremely heavy growth of Elodea, Enteromorpha and filamentous algae in the summers of 1995 and 1996, with following degradation in the fall, might have influenced the invertebrate population dynamics. No significant distinguishing characteristics were found for the lakes supporting C. ambigua. Its occurrence in warm (~20°C) Danish lakes brings into question the perception of the species as being cold-stenothermal.

Corynocera ambigua Chironomidae zoobenthos charophytes palaeolimnology late-glacial Denmark 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Peter Brodersen
    • 1
  • Claus Lindegaard
    • 1
  1. 1.Freshwater Biological LaboratoryUniversity of CopenhagenHillerødDenmark

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