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A chironomid-based salinity inference model from lakes on the Tibetan Plateau

Zhang, E., Jones, R., Bedford, A., Langdon, P.G. and Tang, H. (2007) A chironomid-based salinity inference model from lakes on the Tibetan Plateau Journal of Paleolimnology, 38, (4), pp. 477-491. (doi:10.1007/s10933-006-9080-z).

Record type: Article


Previous studies have shown chironomids to be excellent indicators of environmental change and training sets have been developed in order to allow these changes to be reconstructed quantitatively from subfossil sequences. Here we present the results of an investigation into the relationships between surface sediment subfossil chironomid distribution and lake environmental variables from 42 lakes on the Tibetan Plateau. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) revealed that of the 11measured environmental variables, salinity (measured as total dissolved solids TDS) was most important, accounting for 10.5% of the variance in the chironomid data. This variable was significant enough to allow the development of quantitative inference models. A range of TDS inference models were developed using Weighted Averaging (WA), Partial Least Squares (PLS), Weighted Averaging–Partial Least Squares (WA–PLS), Maximum Likelihood (ML), Modern Analogues Technique (MAT) and Modern Analogues Techniques weighted by similarity (WMAT). Evaluation of the site data indicated that four lakes were major outliers, and after omitting these fromthe training set the models produced jack-knifed coefficients of determination (r2) between 0.60 and 0.80, and root-mean-squared errors of prediction (RMSEP) between 0.29 and 0.44 log10 TDS. The best performing model was the two-component WA–PLS model with r2 jack = 0.80 and RMSEPjack = 0.29 log10 TDS. The model results were similar to other chironomidsalinity models developed in different regions, and they also showed similar ecological groupings along the salinity gradientwith respect to freshwater/salinity thresholds and community diversity. These results therefore indicate that similar processes may be controlling chironomid distribution across salinity gradients irrespective of biogeographical constraints. The performance of the transfer functions illustrates that chironomid assemblages from the Tibetan Plateau lakes are clearly sensitive indicators of salinity. The models will therefore allow the quantification of long-term records of past water salinity for lacustrine sites across the Tibetan Plateau, which has important implications for future hydrological research in the region.

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Published date: November 2007
Keywords: chironomids, hydrological balance, lakes, Tibetan Plateau, transfer functions, Total Dissolved Salts (TDS)


Local EPrints ID: 55020
ISSN: 0921-2728
PURE UUID: 9712dded-69c4-40e8-9923-cf9c54dcc94a
ORCID for P.G. Langdon: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 01 Aug 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:34

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Author: E. Zhang
Author: R. Jones
Author: A. Bedford
Author: P.G. Langdon ORCID iD
Author: H. Tang

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