New determination of Pediastrum orientale in polar lake sediments and its palaeoecological implications – Reindeer Lake, Bellsund, Spitsbergen
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Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Al. Kraśnicka 2d, 20-718 Lublin, Poland
Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences, Radzikowskiego 152, 31-342 Kraków, Poland
ETH Zurich, Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, HPK H25, Otto-Stern-Weg 5, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Acceptance date: 2024-02-09
Online publication date: 2024-05-15
Publication date: 2024-05-15
  • Abundant occurrence of Pediastrum orientale in the studied polar lake dates back to 8000 years
  • Coenobia of this species represent morphotype "b" found mainly in cold oligotrophic waters
  • Long-term species adaptation of P. orientale may result from small Holocene changes in this area
The main component of microfossils in the bottom sediments of Reindeer Lake from Spitsbergen, documenting the almost 8,000-year history of this water body, are algae representing colonies of a very rare species Pediastrum orientale (Skuja) Jankovská et Komárek 1995 with only a very small (lower than 1%) admixture of other green algae species. It has also been recorded in other lake sediments in Spitsbergen. The specimens belong to the morphotype “b” of the species, known previously from the Scandinavian lakes. Due to its unique nature and scarce information on ecological conditions, this study analysed the palaeoenvironmental factors favouring the occurrence of Pediastrum orientale together with an assessment of its bioindication value. The affinity of the species to oligotrophic lakes, where blooms of this alga are observed, was confirmed. The presence of numerous colonies of Pediastrum orientale in fossil lake sediments can provide a rationale for inferring palaeoecological conditions, including the trophic state of water bodies, thus expanding knowledge of their evolutionary directions and documenting key events in the geological history of the catchment. Further studies of lake gyttjas in Spitsbergen should pay more attention to the taxonomic composition of Pediastrum and other green algae, as well as to the determinants of sediment deposition in different lake catchment environments.
This research was supported by (1) the project of the National Science Centre No. 2013/09/B/ST10/04141 – ‘The impact of the sea ice conditions in the nearshore zone and shore ice on the wave propagation and coastal morphodynamics in polar regions based on the example of south-western Spitsbergen – the analysis of processes, modelling, and prediction’; (2) European funds under the European Regional Development Fund and The National Centre for Research and Development: ‘Autonomous system of fibre optic quasi-distributed temperature sensor for ground temperature measurement’ (SPILOD) no. POIR.04.01.01-00-0031/19-00.
The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
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