Morphotype variations in subfossil diatom species of Aulacoseira in 24 Michigan Lakes, USA

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Conference Proceeding

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Acta Botanica Croatica


Diatom assemblages preserved in lake sediment records can provide proxy data of past environmental changes in biological conditions. In order to investigate past changes in the environment of north-central Michigan, diatom assemblages were studied in sediment cores retrieved from 24 lakes. Diatoms were analyzed from the 'top' and 'bottom' of each core to reconstruct land-use changes in this area. Aulacoseira taxa were identified and evaluated with light and scanning electron microscopy. Results of these observations showed the presence of some variability of the morphological features within North American species populations. Diatom species composition in surface sediments and differences between tops and bottoms corresponded to changes in land use surrounding the lakes, ranging from predominantly forest and rangeland to urban and agriculturally impacted. Diatom-inferred past conditions revealed that the observed morphotypes probably represent taxa with different ecological preferences. The main factors influencing the variability of these morphotypes are changes in the trophic status of the lakes.


Biological and Environmental Sciences

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