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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Chironomidae-based inference model for mean July air temperature reconstructions in the eastern Baltic area

Bakumenko, Varvara; Poska, Anneli; Plociennik, Mateusz; Gasteviciene, Neringa; Kotrys, Bartosz; Luoto, Tomi P.; Belle, Simon; Veski, Siim


Here we present a new eastern Baltic Chironomidae training set (TS) containing 35 sites that was collected and merged with neighbouring published Finnish (82 lakes) and northern part of the Polish (nine lakes) TSs. Chironomidae, non-biting midges, are known to be strongly responsive to the July air temperature and are widely used to infer palaeotemperature. Several modern analogue-based TSs necessary for calibrating the relationships between mean July air temperature (MJAT) and chironomids are available for Europe. However, none of these is representative of the transitional climate typical for eastern Baltic (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). The Finno-Baltic-Polish TS contains 121 sites and covers a geographically continuous 70-50 degrees N latitudinal and 7 degrees C (12.1-19.2 degrees C) MJAT gradient. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that, among the tested environmental variables (pH, water depth, dissolved oxygen, MJAT), the MJAT explains the highest amount of variation, both for the eastern Baltic separately and the Finno-Baltic-Polish TSs. The weighted averaging-partial least squares-based cross-validation test reveals that the Finno-Baltic-Polish TS has a low root mean square error of prediction (0.7 degrees C) confirming the high reliability of the TS. The temperature optima of the taxa included in the new Finno-Baltic-Polish TS and widely used Swiss-Norwegian TS were examined. The observed dissimilarities can be attributed to the differences in the temperature ranges represented by the TS, the taxonomic identification level, the general cosmopolitan taxa distribution patterns and the influence of TS-specific geographic position, climatic or environmental conditions. The new Finno-Baltic-Polish TS adds to the knowledge on the modern distribution of Chironomidae taxa and widens the geographical area of reliable Chironomid-based MJAT reconstructions into the eastern European lowland.The Finno-Baltic-Polish training set contains 121 sites and covers a geographically continuous 70-50 degrees N latitudinal and 7 degrees C (12.1-19.2 degrees C) July air temperature gradient. July air temperature explains the highest amount of variation among other observed variables (pH, water depth and dissolved oxygen) in the new training set. The Finno-Baltic-Polish training set is able to produce July air temperature reconstructions with high reliability. image

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Publisher: WILEY