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Factors influencing the distribution of chironomids in lakes distributed along a latitudinal gradient in northwestern Quebec, Canada

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The effect of 33 environmental variables on the distribution of chironomids was studied in 60 lakes of northwestern Quebec (Canada). A detrended canonical correspondence analysis detected linearity in the chironomid assemblages, thus redundancy analysis was used to identify the variables affecting the chironomid communities. Lake depth, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), mean August air temperature, and surface water temperature were the four variables that best explained the distribution of chironomids. Partial least squares analysis was used to develop new inference models. Among models, the one for mean August air temperature had the highest coefficient of determination (rG′ST = 0.67) and the lowest root mean square error of prediction (= 1.17 °C). The results indicated that for downcore temperature reconstructions, it might be hard to dissociate the combined effects of temperature, DOC, and depth. Changes in taxa such as Heterotrissocladius brundini-type, Heterotrissocladius subpilosus-type, Heterotrissocladius grimshawi-type, Micropsectra radialis-type, Tanytarsus lugens-type, and Microtendipes can be attributed to changes in lake depth and (or) temperature. Changes in Heterotanytarsus, Dicrotendipes, Cryptotendipes, and Cryptochironomus might be attributed to shifts in temperature and DOC. Relationships among temperature, DOC, and lake depth should be studied in a "neo-ecology" design to better understand their impact on chironomid assemblage composition.

L'effet de 33 variables environnementales sur la distribution des chironomides dans 60 lacs du nord-ouest du Quebec (Canada) a été étudié. Une relation linéaire dans les assemblages de chironomides a été démontrée par une analyse canonique des correspondances redressée. Une analyse de redondance a donc été utilisée pour identifier les variables influençant les communautés de chironomides. La profondeur du lac, le carbone organique dissous (DOC), la température moyenne de l'air en août et la température de l'eau en surface sont les quatre variables qui expliquent le mieux la distribution. Une analyse partielle des moindres carrés a été utilisée pour développer des modèles d'inférence. Le modèle qui prédit la température moyenne de l'air en août a le plus haut coefficient de détermination (rG′ST = 0,67) et l'erreur quadratique moyenne de prédiction (= 1,17 °C) la plus faible. Les variations de certains taxons (type Heterotrissocladius brundini, typeHeterotrissocladius subpilosus, typeHeterotrissocladius grimshawi, typeMicropsectra radialis, type Tanytarsus lugens et Microtendipes) peuvent être attribuées aux variations de la profondeur du lac et (ou) de la température. Les changements de Heterotanytarsus, Dicrotendipes, Cryptotendipes et Cryptochironomus peuvent être associés aux variations de température et de DOC. Les effets combinés de la température, du DOC et de la profondeur du lac sur les assemblages de chironomides devraient être étudiés selon un schéma de « néo-écologie » pour dissocier leurs influences respectives.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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