Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 219–234 | Cite as

Holocene climate change and its effect on lake ecosystem production on Northern Victoria Island, Canadian Arctic

  • Marie-Claude Fortin
  • Konrad Gajewski
Original Paper


A multi-proxy paleoenvironmental study from Lake WB02 (72.29°N, 109.87°W) on Northern Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada provides an 8.4-ka record of chironomid and ecosystem production. Mean July air temperatures for this region during the Holocene were inferred from the fossil record. The chironomid assemblages contained 33 taxa and were dominated by Paracladius and Heterotrissocladius maeaeri-type. Primary production and chironomid food availability inferred from sediment biogenic silica and loss on ignition at 550°C, and chironomid concentrations, all exhibited synchronous patterns of change through time. Similar to other climate records from across the Arctic, the sediment and fossil data from Lake WB02 support the hypothesis of a warm and productive early to middle Holocene, a cool and generally unproductive middle to late Holocene and a return to a warmer, more productive environment in the past 100 years. Mean July air temperature reconstructions based on both the modern analogue technique (MAT) and weighted averaging partial least squares regression (WAPLS), however, failed to reflect these same changes. The difference between the qualitative and quantitative environmental reconstructions may be due to the restrictions associated with the use of these inference tools, the effects of which are more significant in unproductive ecosystems such as Arctic lakes.


Chironomidae Victoria Island Nunavut Ecosystem production Holocene Paleoclimate reconstructions Climate change 



This work was funded by a grant from the Canada Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS), Discovery Grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS). Logistic support was provided by the Polar Continental Shelf Project (PCSP/EPCP publication number 04907). We would like to thank P. Hamilton for help with field work and T. Paull for help with the lab work.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Paleoclimatology and Climatology (LPC), Ottawa-Carleton Institute of BiologyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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