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Quantitative relationships between benthic diatom assemblages and water chemistry in Macquarie Island lakes and their potential for reconstructing past environmental changes

Citation

Saunders, KM and Hodgson, DA and McMinn, A, Quantitative relationships between benthic diatom assemblages and water chemistry in Macquarie Island lakes and their potential for reconstructing past environmental changes, Antarctic Science, 21, (1) pp. 35-49. ISSN 0954-1020 (2009) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Antarctic Science, Cambridge University Press Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2009

Official URL: http://journals.cambridge.org

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0954102008001442

Abstract

This study is the first published survey of diatom-environment relationships on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island. Fifty-eight sites in 50 coastal and inland lakes were sampled for benthic diatoms and water chemistry. 208 diatom species from 34 genera were identified. Multivariate analyses indicated that the lakes were distributed along nutrient and conductivity gradients. Conductivity, pH, phosphate (SRP), silicate and temperature all explained independent portions of the variance in the diatom data. Transfer functions provide a quantitative basis for palaeolimnological studies of past climate change and human impacts, and can be used to establish baseline conditions for assessing the impacts of recent climate change and the introduction of non-native plants and animals. Statistically robust diatom transfer functions for conductivity, phosphate and silicate were developed, while pH and temperature transfer functions performed less well. The lower predictive abilities of the pH and temperature transfer functions probably reflect the broad pH tolerance range of diatoms on Macquarie Island and uneven distribution of lakes along the temperature gradient. This study contributes to understanding the current ecological distribution of Macquarie Island diatoms and provides transfer functions that will be applied in studies of diatoms in lake sediment cores to quantitatively reconstruct past environmental changes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate change, limnology, management, palaeolimnology, sub-Antarctic, transfer function
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments
Author:Saunders, KM (Dr Krystyna Saunders)
Author:McMinn, A (Professor Andrew McMinn)
ID Code:62720
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:IASOS
Deposited On:2010-03-18
Last Modified:2010-05-07
Downloads:0

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