Lotter, A.F., Appleby, B.G., Bindler, R., Dearing, J.A., Grytnes, J.A., Hofmann, W., Kamenik, C., Lami, A., Livingstone, D.M., Ohlendorf, C., Rose, N. and Sturm, M.
The sediment record of the past 200 years in a Swiss high-alpine lake: Hagelseewli (2339 m a.s.l.)
Journal of Paleolimnology, 28, (1), . (doi:10.1023/A:1020328119961).
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Sediment cores spanning the last two centuries were taken in Hagelseewli, a high-elevation lake in the Swiss Alps. Contiguous 0.5 cm samples were analysed for biological remains, including diatoms, chironomids, cladocera, chrysophyte cysts, and fossil pigments. In addition, sedimentological and geochemical variables such as loss-on-ignition, total carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, grain-size and magnetic mineralogy were determined. The results of these analyses were compared to a long instrumental air temperature record that was adapted to the elevation of Hagelseewli by applying mean monthly lapse rates.
During much of the time, the lake is in the shadow of a high cliff to the south, so that the lake is ice-covered during much of the year and thus decoupled from climatic forcing. Lake biology is therefore influenced more by the duration of ice-cover than by direct temperature effects during the short open-water season. Long periods of ice-cover result in anoxic water conditions and dissolution of authigenic calcites, leading to carbonate-free sediments.
The diversity of chironomid and cladoceran assemblages is extremely low, whereas that of diatom and chrysophyte cyst assemblages is much higher. Weak correlations were observed between the diatom and chrysophyte cyst assemblages on the one hand and summer or autumn air temperatures on the other, but the proportion of variance explained is low, so that air temperature alone cannot account for the degree of variation observed in the paleolimnological record.
Analyses of mineral magnetic parameters, spheroidal carbonaceous particles and lead suggest that atmospheric pollution has had a significant effect on the sediments of Hagelseewli, but little effect on the water quality as reflected in the lake biota.
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