A palaeolimnological study of Tugulnuit Lake, British Columbia, Canada, with special emphasis on river influence as recorded by chironomids in the lake's sediment

Rück, Andrea ; Walker, Ian ; Hebda, Richard

In: Journal of Paleolimnology, 1998, vol. 19, no. 1, p. 63-75

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    Sediments from Tugulnuit Lake in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada, were examined for chironomid assemblages. The chironomid stratigraphy obtained encompasses the last 4000 to 5000 years and suggests a warm and fairly stable climate typical for a temperate lake at low- to mid-elevation. This is indicated by the even distribution of warm-water taxa, such as Cladopelma, Dicrotendipes, Polypedilum, Pentaneurini, Stempellina, Stempellinella/Zavrelia and Pseudochironomus throughout the core. Very few cold-water taxa occurred in the sediments. However, stream inputs have had a major impact on Tugulnuit Lake. Sandy sediments and the appearance of Simuliidae and stream-inhabiting chironomid taxa (e.g., Brillia/Euryhapsis, Eukiefferiella/Tvetenia, Rheocricotopus) indicate that a stream intruded into the current lake's basin ca. 3800 yr Before Present (BP). Sediments deposited prior to, and after, the stream's intrusion show a distinctly different chironomid assemblage exhibiting chironomid taxa more typical for lentic habitats. This result indicates that chironomids can serve to detect past stream influences on lake environments. Thus, rheophilic chironomids preserved in lake cores provide a new alternative for reconstructing stream palaeoenvironmental records