An evaluation of a chironomid-based summer temperature reconstruction from west 1 central Sweden covering the last millennium
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Here we present a lake sediment study from west central Sweden that covers the last thousand years. The study site Lake Spåime is a shallow, hydrologically open lake situated above the present tree line. We applied chironomid analysis with the aim to reconstruct mean July air temperature at a high temporal resolution and we evaluated our reconstruction with significance tests and comparison with observed meteorological data. We examined the relationship between changes in chironomid-inferred July temperature, isotope hydrology and minerogenic detrital input. We also assessed the influence of running water and semi-terrestrial/terrestrial chironomids. The inferred July air temperatures ranged from 8.5˚C to 11.6˚C (mean 9.6˚C) over the past millennium. The temperatures inferred with running water- and terrestrial taxa removed was similar, but with a 0.6 ˚C higher amplitude. The results of significance testing were inconclusive. Comparison with meteorological data showed that the chironomid-based July air temperatures were similar during the last 110 years. Individual years when chironomid-inferred July air temperatures were lower than the instrumental data were characterized by low June air temperatures and high amounts of winter precipitation. From this, we assume that late snowmelt led to cool melt water input in July which in turn caused a decoupling between water and air temperatures causing too low inferred temperatures. Inferred July temperatures show similarities and discrepancies with reconstructions derived from other proxies in the region, such as tree-ring and sea surface temperature records, and fail to reconstruct the cold summer conditions characteristic of the years between AD 1650 and 1750. We conclude that the Spåime July temperature reconstruction was partly biased, possibly because of major changes in the Spåime catchment system that influenced the chironomids. For example, changes in hydrology caused by shifts in seasonality and amount of precipitation may have triggered changes in sediment erosion and deposition rates, affecting the chironomid composition to a larger extent than mean July air temperatures. Future challenges include examination of the temperature sensitivity of chironomid taxa and continued critical assessment of individual chironomid inferred temperature reconstructions, not only against other temperature proxies but also against proxies for variations in hydrology.
chironomids, temperature sensitivity, alpine lake, temperature, precipitation, critical 5 assessment, XRF core scanning
Research subject Quaternary Geology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107068OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-107068DiVA: diva2:743044