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Journal Article

An intercontinental comparison of chironomid palaeotemperature inference models: Europe vs North America.


Hofmann,  Wolfgang
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Lotter, A. F., Walker, I. R., Brooks, S. J., & Hofmann, W. (1999). An intercontinental comparison of chironomid palaeotemperature inference models: Europe vs North America. Quaternary Science Reviews, 18(6), 717-735.

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Chironomid-temperature inference models based on North American, European and combined surface sediment training sets were compared to assess the overall reliability of their predictions. Between 67 and 76% of the major chironomid taxa in each data set showed a unimodal response to July temperature, whereas between 5 and 22% of the common taxa showed a sigmoidal response. July temperature optima were highly correlated among the training sets, but the correlations for other taxon parameters such as tolerances and weighted averaging partial least squares (WA-PLS) and partial least squares (PLS) regression coefficients were much weaker. PLS, weighted averaging, WA-PLS, and the Modern Analogue Technique, all provided useful and reliable temperature inferences. Although jack-knifed error statistics suggested that two-component WA-PLS models had the highest predictive power, intercontinental tests suggested that other inference models performed better. The various models were able to provide good July temperature inferences, even where neither good nor close modern analogues for the fossil chironomid assemblages existed. When the models were applied to fossil Lateglacial assemblages from North America and Europe, the inferred rates and magnitude of July temperature changes varied among models. All models, however, revealed similar patterns of Lateglacial temperature change. Depending on the model used, the inferred Younger Dryas July temperature decrease ranged between 2.5 and 6 degrees C.