Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 445–461 | Cite as

A paleolimnological record of Holocene climate and environmental change in the Temagami region, northeastern Ontario

  • Robert E. A. Boudreau
  • Jennifer M. Galloway
  • R. Timothy Patterson
  • Arun Kumar
  • Frederick A. Michel


The Arcellacean (Thecamoebian) fauna was assessed in five Holocene sediment cores obtained from James and Granite lakes in the Temagami region of northeastern Ontario. In addition, palynological analysis was carried out on two of these cores, one each from James and Granite lakes. The first indication of postglacial colonization by plants was the appearance of rare Cupressaceae pollen, dated to 10,800 yr BP. Plant diversity began to increase by 10,770 yr BP when Pinus spp. and Larix migrated into the area. The first appearance of arcellaceans occurred after 9650 yr BP in assemblages dominated by Centropyxis constricta and opportunistic Centropyxis aculeata. High abundances of charophytes in the cores until 8800 yr BP indicated that macroalgae were proliferating at this time. This deposition is interpreted to have occurred during the draining of an ice-marginal lake following the retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Based on pollen analysis, warmer conditions associated with the Holocene Hypsithermal prevailed in the area from 6250 to 4115 yr BP. The stable, open Great Lakes – St. Lawrence type forest that developed here at the beginning of the Hypsithermal continues to prevail to the present. The periodic colonization of the lake by beavers (Castor canadensis) acted as a control on water-level and eutrophication through the Holocene. Evidence of eutrophication was indicated in the core samples by the abundance of high levels of the alga Pediastrum and the arcellacean Cucurbitella tricuspis. Eutrophication periodically developed when beavers dammed a site, causing the rate of flow in drainage streams to slow and stagnant conditions occurred. When the site became depleted of the nearby trees, which were preferred by beaver (Betula, Alnus and Populus), the dam would be abandoned, causing the water-level to drop. Stagnant conditions were reduced as flow levels increased, reducing eutrophication and resulting in recovering forest stands. In addition, the lowering water levels would result in encroachment of the forest along the lake shore. This cycle occurred many times in the history of this lake as indicated by fluctuations in the size of arcellacean populations.


Arcellacea Beaver Eutrophication Holocene Paleolimnology Palynology 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. A. Boudreau
    • 1
  • Jennifer M. Galloway
    • 1
  • R. Timothy Patterson
    • 1
  • Arun Kumar
    • 1
  • Frederick A. Michel
    • 1
  1. 1. Ottawa Carleton Geoscience Centre and Department of Earth Sciences, College of Natural SciencesCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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