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Distribution of living larval Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) along a depth transect at Kigoma Bay, Lake Tanganyika (East Africa): implications for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction

Hilde Eggermont, David Kennedy, Stephen Hasiotis, Dirk Verschuren UGent and A Cohen (2008) AFRICAN ENTOMOLOGY. 16(2). p.162-184
abstract
We analysed the distribution of living larval Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) along a depth transect (0-80 m water depth) at Kigoma Bay in Lake Tanganyika (East Africa) to explore the ecological indicator value of Lake Tanganyika's midge fauna and to delineate the habitat preferences of resident larvae. Additionally, by comparing the taxonomic resolution reached in live versus fossil chironomid studies in this lake, we appraised the general information content of African fossil chironomid assemblages and, therefore, the quality of African chironomid-based palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. We found 141 chironomid specimens, representing two Tanypodinae, one Orthocladinae and 13 Chironominae (seven Chironomini and six Tanytarsini) taxa. All of these are conspecific to larval types encountered in subfossil collections from Lake Tanganyika or smaller East African lakes, but their differential diagnoses are updated here to include exoskeletal elements that are generally better preserved on live specimens. The chironomid assemblage collected in the Kigoma Bay depth samples is dominated by a few species of chironomine detritus and algae feeders, concentrated in areas of high macrophyte density. Additionally, there is a small component of tanypodine predatory taxa, along with several relatively rare, possibly habitat-specialist, taxa of both subfamilies. Our results further indicate that littoral and sublittoral palaeoenvironments in Lake Tanganyika may generally be inferred from high fossil density and diversity. The fairly high correspondence between inferred habitat preference of fossil and live collections in Lake Tanganyika indicates that, in large African lakes, the near-to-offshore gradient in chironomid habitat is imprinted on fossil assemblages. Hence, death assemblages deposited recently at various locations and microhabitats within Lake Tanganyika can be used as modern calibration data for palaeodepth inference. Moreover, Tanganyikan fossil-based taxonomy fully matches the taxonomic resolution reached in this study, so ecological information retrieved from live specimens can immediately be used for palaeoenvironmental studies.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
depth gradient, Chironomidae, COMMUNITIES, POLYPEDILUM KIEFFER, ANCIENT LAKES, DIVERSITY, SEDIMENTS, SUB-FOSSIL CHIRONOMIDAE, SUBFOSSIL CHIRONOMIDAE, EAST-AFRICA, fossils, Lake Tanganyika, living fauna, morphotypes, palaeoecology, taxonomy, SALINITY, TANYPODINAE
journal title
AFRICAN ENTOMOLOGY
Afr. Entomol.
volume
16
issue
2
pages
162 - 184
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000261593700003
JCR category
ENTOMOLOGY
JCR impact factor
0.308 (2008)
JCR rank
67/72 (2008)
JCR quartile
4 (2008)
ISSN
1021-3589
DOI
10.4001/1021-3589-16.2.162
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
610852
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-610852
date created
2009-05-08 14:05:19
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:44:33
@article{610852,
  abstract     = {We analysed the distribution of living larval Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) along a depth transect (0-80 m water depth) at Kigoma Bay in Lake Tanganyika (East Africa) to explore the ecological indicator value of Lake Tanganyika's midge fauna and to delineate the habitat preferences of resident larvae. Additionally, by comparing the taxonomic resolution reached in live versus fossil chironomid studies in this lake, we appraised the general information content of African fossil chironomid assemblages and, therefore, the quality of African chironomid-based palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. We found 141 chironomid specimens, representing two Tanypodinae, one Orthocladinae and 13 Chironominae (seven Chironomini and six Tanytarsini) taxa. All of these are conspecific to larval types encountered in subfossil collections from Lake Tanganyika or smaller East African lakes, but their differential diagnoses are updated here to include exoskeletal elements that are generally better preserved on live specimens. The chironomid assemblage collected in the Kigoma Bay depth samples is dominated by a few species of chironomine detritus and algae feeders, concentrated in areas of high macrophyte density. Additionally, there is a small component of tanypodine predatory taxa, along with several relatively rare, possibly habitat-specialist, taxa of both subfamilies. Our results further indicate that littoral and sublittoral palaeoenvironments in Lake Tanganyika may generally be inferred from high fossil density and diversity. The fairly high correspondence between inferred habitat preference of fossil and live collections in Lake Tanganyika indicates that, in large African lakes, the near-to-offshore gradient in chironomid habitat is imprinted on fossil assemblages. Hence, death assemblages deposited recently at various locations and microhabitats within Lake Tanganyika can be used as modern calibration data for palaeodepth inference. Moreover, Tanganyikan fossil-based taxonomy fully matches the taxonomic resolution reached in this study, so ecological information retrieved from live specimens can immediately be used for palaeoenvironmental studies.},
  author       = {Eggermont, Hilde and Kennedy, David and Hasiotis, Stephen and Verschuren, Dirk and Cohen, A},
  issn         = {1021-3589},
  journal      = {AFRICAN ENTOMOLOGY},
  keyword      = {depth gradient,Chironomidae,COMMUNITIES,POLYPEDILUM KIEFFER,ANCIENT LAKES,DIVERSITY,SEDIMENTS,SUB-FOSSIL CHIRONOMIDAE,SUBFOSSIL CHIRONOMIDAE,EAST-AFRICA,fossils,Lake Tanganyika,living fauna,morphotypes,palaeoecology,taxonomy,SALINITY,TANYPODINAE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {162--184},
  title        = {Distribution of living larval Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) along a depth transect at Kigoma Bay, Lake Tanganyika (East Africa): implications for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.4001/1021-3589-16.2.162},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2008},
}

Chicago
Eggermont, Hilde, David Kennedy, Stephen Hasiotis, Dirk Verschuren, and A Cohen. 2008. “Distribution of Living Larval Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) Along a Depth Transect at Kigoma Bay, Lake Tanganyika (East Africa): Implications for Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction.” African Entomology 16 (2): 162–184.
APA
Eggermont, H., Kennedy, D., Hasiotis, S., Verschuren, D., & Cohen, A. (2008). Distribution of living larval Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) along a depth transect at Kigoma Bay, Lake Tanganyika (East Africa): implications for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. AFRICAN ENTOMOLOGY, 16(2), 162–184.
Vancouver
1.
Eggermont H, Kennedy D, Hasiotis S, Verschuren D, Cohen A. Distribution of living larval Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) along a depth transect at Kigoma Bay, Lake Tanganyika (East Africa): implications for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. AFRICAN ENTOMOLOGY. 2008;16(2):162–84.
MLA
Eggermont, Hilde, David Kennedy, Stephen Hasiotis, et al. “Distribution of Living Larval Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) Along a Depth Transect at Kigoma Bay, Lake Tanganyika (East Africa): Implications for Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction.” AFRICAN ENTOMOLOGY 16.2 (2008): 162–184. Print.