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Combined effects of nutrients and trace metals on chironomid composition and morphology in a heavily polluted lake in central China since the early 20th century

Combined effects of nutrients and trace metals on chironomid composition and morphology in a heavily polluted lake in central China since the early 20th century
Combined effects of nutrients and trace metals on chironomid composition and morphology in a heavily polluted lake in central China since the early 20th century
Eutrophication and trace metal pollution seriously threaten the health of lake ecosystems; however, little is known about the response of zoobenthos to their combined impacts. In order to detect their effects on the biotic community of a lake, subfossil chironomids were analyzed in a sediment core from Sanliqi Lake, a hypereutrophic and severely metal-polluted lake located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River in central China. The sediment core provides a record of environmental changes since the 1930s. Increases in pollutant concentrations began before the 1990s, and increases in total P and Pb began from the 1950s. Significant increases in nutrient and metal concentrations in the 1990s document the acceleration of eutrophication and metals pollution. As a consequence, macrophyte-related chironomid taxa (e.g. Cricotopus sylvestris-type and Dicrotendipes sp.) which dominated the subfossil assemblages prior to the 1990s were replaced by pollution-tolerant species (i.e., Tanypus chinensis-type and Procladius choreus-type) thereafter. Chironomid diversity gradually decreased from the 1950s with an abrupt change occurring in 1995. Multivariate statistical analyses reveal that subfossil chironomid assemblages are significantly correlated with total N, Pb and Cd, highlighting the combined impact of nutrients and trace metals on the chironomid communities. In addition, the relative abundance of Procladius choreus-type with mouthpart deformities increased over time and is significantly positively correlated with trace metals and nutrients. Nevertheless, further laboratory studies to assess the linkage between sediment contamination and mouthpart deformities are needed in order to enhance the utility of the latter as an indicator of environmental health.
0018-8158
147-159
Cao, Y.
2a06c7de-86c5-4804-ab45-20266cbea4cf
Zhang, E.
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Tang, H.
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Langdon, P.
95b97671-f9fe-4884-aca6-9aa3cd1a6d7f
Ning, D.
0f91c961-0415-456d-b492-ca21e63fd169
Zheng, W.
1158fbd9-706d-4755-a934-e0300c538a2a
Cao, Y.
2a06c7de-86c5-4804-ab45-20266cbea4cf
Zhang, E.
bcd6bd7b-e371-4077-8e0f-7eb2c6ce16e6
Tang, H.
8c90ceaa-9a01-4e09-acbb-427599d0c782
Langdon, P.
95b97671-f9fe-4884-aca6-9aa3cd1a6d7f
Ning, D.
0f91c961-0415-456d-b492-ca21e63fd169
Zheng, W.
1158fbd9-706d-4755-a934-e0300c538a2a

Cao, Y., Zhang, E., Tang, H., Langdon, P., Ning, D. and Zheng, W. (2016) Combined effects of nutrients and trace metals on chironomid composition and morphology in a heavily polluted lake in central China since the early 20th century. Hydrobiologia, 779, 147-159. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Eutrophication and trace metal pollution seriously threaten the health of lake ecosystems; however, little is known about the response of zoobenthos to their combined impacts. In order to detect their effects on the biotic community of a lake, subfossil chironomids were analyzed in a sediment core from Sanliqi Lake, a hypereutrophic and severely metal-polluted lake located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River in central China. The sediment core provides a record of environmental changes since the 1930s. Increases in pollutant concentrations began before the 1990s, and increases in total P and Pb began from the 1950s. Significant increases in nutrient and metal concentrations in the 1990s document the acceleration of eutrophication and metals pollution. As a consequence, macrophyte-related chironomid taxa (e.g. Cricotopus sylvestris-type and Dicrotendipes sp.) which dominated the subfossil assemblages prior to the 1990s were replaced by pollution-tolerant species (i.e., Tanypus chinensis-type and Procladius choreus-type) thereafter. Chironomid diversity gradually decreased from the 1950s with an abrupt change occurring in 1995. Multivariate statistical analyses reveal that subfossil chironomid assemblages are significantly correlated with total N, Pb and Cd, highlighting the combined impact of nutrients and trace metals on the chironomid communities. In addition, the relative abundance of Procladius choreus-type with mouthpart deformities increased over time and is significantly positively correlated with trace metals and nutrients. Nevertheless, further laboratory studies to assess the linkage between sediment contamination and mouthpart deformities are needed in order to enhance the utility of the latter as an indicator of environmental health.

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Accepted/In Press date: 2 May 2016
Organisations: Palaeoenvironment Laboratory (PLUS)

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 393828
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/393828
ISSN: 0018-8158
PURE UUID: 4da1e2af-6e6b-4881-b320-3e7ed10b66d7
ORCID for P. Langdon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2724-2643

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Date deposited: 06 May 2016 09:37
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:59

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Contributors

Author: Y. Cao
Author: E. Zhang
Author: H. Tang
Author: P. Langdon ORCID iD
Author: D. Ning
Author: W. Zheng

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