Diatom, chrysophyte and protozoan distributions along a latitudinal transect in Fennoscandia

Authors

  • Reinhard Pienitz,

    1. Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab, Dept of Biology, Queen's Univ Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6
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    • Centre d'etudes nordiquei et dept de geographic Univ Laval, Quebec, Canada GIK 7P4, present address of M S V D Dept of Geology, 22 Russell St. Univ of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3B1

  • Marianne S. V. Douglas,

    1. Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab, Dept of Biology, Queen's Univ Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6
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    • Dept of Geology, 22 Russell St. Univ of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3B1

  • John P. Smol,

    1. Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab, Dept of Biology, Queen's Univ Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6
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  • Pertti Huttunen,

    1. Dept of Biology, Univ of Joensuu, P O Box 111, FIN-80101 Joensuu, Finland
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  • Jouko Meriläinen

    1. Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab, Dept of Biology, Queen's Univ Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6
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Abstract

Diatoms, chrysophyte scales and cysts, and the siliceous plates of thecoamoebae were studied from the surface sediments of 20 freshwater habitats in Fennoscandia The study sites are distributed along a latitudinal transect extending from southern Finland to northern Norway, spanning boreal forest through arctic tundra vegetational zones Diatom assemblages were usually dominated by acidophilic, periphytic members of the genera Achnanthe, Fragilaria and Navicula Marked shifts in diatom assemblage composition were recorded along the latitudinal transect, whereas scaled chrysophytes were rare in all study sites Meanwhile, siliceous protozoa were common, but did not exhibit any noticeable trends in assemblage composition with changing latitude A comparison of the Fennoscandian diatom assemblages with those recorded from freshwater sites near Yellowknife (central Northwest Territories, Canada) revealed similar trends in diatom assemblage composition with changing ecoclimatic zones in both regions Moreover, canonical correspondence analysis showed that diatom assemblages in cold, dilute tundra sites were effectively separated from sites with forested catchments from both the Fennoscandian and Canadian transects The general similarity between the two regions suggests that autecological data and the resulting environmental transfer functions based on diatom assemblages may eventually be joined from North American and European regions

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