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Chironomid communities from subalpine peatlands in subtropical China as indicators of environmental change

Chironomid communities from subalpine peatlands in subtropical China as indicators of environmental change
Chironomid communities from subalpine peatlands in subtropical China as indicators of environmental change
The composition of Chironomidae communities and the ecological significance of such assemblages in peatlands have received little attention, especially in subtropical alpine regions. We report on the spatial distribution of subfossil chironomids and environmental controls on the insects in three subalpine peatlands from subtropical, central China. We found 44 genera and 62 morphotypes in 41 surficial peat samples from three peatlands in subtropical China. The taxa are different from those found in shallow freshwater lakes in the same region, as terrestrial/semi-terrestrial taxa are common in the peatland chironomid communities. Dissimilarities were observed among the three investigated peatlands, and spatially heterogeneous microhabitats also showed notable differences in particular species abundances, even within the same peatland. Important taxa that are associated with specific peatlands, and/or illustrate within-peatland community differences, include Tanytarsus pallidicornis-type2, which is related to lower conductivity, and Neozavrelia, which is associated with greater redox potential and pH. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed significant relationships between chironomid community composition and three environmental factors (conductivity, redox potential and pH). Anthropogenic influences and autogenic processes in peatlands likely modify the biotic communities, either through direct or indirect changes in peatland hydrology and chemistry. Low chironomid concentrations and diversity in Erxianyan Peatland may reflect ecological degradation caused by intense human activities, including the harvest of Sphagnum. This study provides information about subtropical peatland biodiversity and illustrates the utility of subfossil chironomids as proxies for past hydro-chemical changes in peatlands.
1-15
Cao, Yanmin
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Langdon, Peter G.
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Yan, Yi
36441371-c083-4c83-8a4e-ceafea193d6d
Wang, Songbo
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Zheng, Zijie
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Zhang, Zhou
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Cao, Yanmin
d2622278-2d41-44f2-98ab-ca4d93c219e0
Langdon, Peter G.
95b97671-f9fe-4884-aca6-9aa3cd1a6d7f
Yan, Yi
36441371-c083-4c83-8a4e-ceafea193d6d
Wang, Songbo
568dfbc5-db35-413e-9fde-5b92d50c584e
Zheng, Zijie
0c361308-5dec-4d26-b027-39b83f69297a
Zhang, Zhou
55785062-a874-4403-ad7f-fbfb433cb9c0

Cao, Yanmin, Langdon, Peter G., Yan, Yi, Wang, Songbo, Zheng, Zijie and Zhang, Zhou (2019) Chironomid communities from subalpine peatlands in subtropical China as indicators of environmental change. Journal of Paleolimnology, 1-15. (doi:10.1007/s10933-019-00081-5).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The composition of Chironomidae communities and the ecological significance of such assemblages in peatlands have received little attention, especially in subtropical alpine regions. We report on the spatial distribution of subfossil chironomids and environmental controls on the insects in three subalpine peatlands from subtropical, central China. We found 44 genera and 62 morphotypes in 41 surficial peat samples from three peatlands in subtropical China. The taxa are different from those found in shallow freshwater lakes in the same region, as terrestrial/semi-terrestrial taxa are common in the peatland chironomid communities. Dissimilarities were observed among the three investigated peatlands, and spatially heterogeneous microhabitats also showed notable differences in particular species abundances, even within the same peatland. Important taxa that are associated with specific peatlands, and/or illustrate within-peatland community differences, include Tanytarsus pallidicornis-type2, which is related to lower conductivity, and Neozavrelia, which is associated with greater redox potential and pH. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed significant relationships between chironomid community composition and three environmental factors (conductivity, redox potential and pH). Anthropogenic influences and autogenic processes in peatlands likely modify the biotic communities, either through direct or indirect changes in peatland hydrology and chemistry. Low chironomid concentrations and diversity in Erxianyan Peatland may reflect ecological degradation caused by intense human activities, including the harvest of Sphagnum. This study provides information about subtropical peatland biodiversity and illustrates the utility of subfossil chironomids as proxies for past hydro-chemical changes in peatlands.

Text
JOPL-D-18-00040_R2_accepted - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 13 May 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 May 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 431385
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/431385
PURE UUID: f46358c3-b54a-4a9a-ab2b-b184c8233dbf
ORCID for Peter G. Langdon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2724-2643

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Date deposited: 31 May 2019 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 05:33

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Contributors

Author: Yanmin Cao
Author: Yi Yan
Author: Songbo Wang
Author: Zijie Zheng
Author: Zhou Zhang

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