What is it about?

Paleoecological analyses, such as analysis of microfossils from lake sediment cores, provide long-term perspectives on environmental change. Interpretation of these records relies on multivariate analyses of the cores. In this study, we show the importance of considering multiple sources of forcing on the diatoms in a series of published records from the Canadian Arctic.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

One use of paleolimnologcal records is to document past climates. However, the extent to which diatoms offer a useful proxy of past climates is uncertain. This study demonstrates the many factors that need to be considered when interpreting a paleolimnological record in paleoclimatic terms. Care must be taken in selecting sites and documenting the environment as well as in dating the sediments. The results must be interpreted in the context of other paleoclimate work in the region. To interpret the changes in the lake over the course of the past 200 years, the longer-term Holocene context must be considered.


Diatom records from the Arctic can provide useful records of past environments, but the many factors affecting the lake over the Holocene need to be considered. In particular, the presence of zones of “missing diatoms” in many lake sediments from the Arctic has not yet been sufficiently explained.

Konrad Gajewski
University of Ottawa

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Multiple drivers of ecological change in Arctic lakes and ponds, PLoS ONE, July 2021, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0254257.
You can read the full text:

Open access logo


The following have contributed to this page