Fallu, M.-A., Allaire, N. and Pienitz, R. 2002. Distribution of freshwater diatoms in 64 Labrador (Canada) lakes: species-environment relationships along latitudinal gradients and reconstruction models for water colour and alkalinity. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 59: 329-349 [DOI: 10.1139/F01-211].
- The distribution of modern diatom assemblages in surficial sediments of 64 Labrador (Canada) lakes across broad vegetational biomes was studied in order to explore species–environment relationships and to develop transfer functions for paleoenvironmental reconstruction. The study sites were situated along a latitudinal gradient (51°27' to 57°37'N) and classified according to six catchment vegetation types: wetland (peatland) forest, spruce/fir forest, lichen woodland, forest–tundra, coastal tundra, and tundra. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that among 28 environmental variables determined for each site, water colour and alkalinity accounted for most of the variance in the diatom data. Using weighted-averaging partial least squares techniques, we developed transfer functions for inference of water colour (CLR) (r 2 jack = 0.85, root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) = 0.18log(CLR + 1) or 1.51 Pt units) and alkalinity (ALK) (r 2 jack = 0.63, RMSEP = 0.25log(ALK + 1) or 1.78 µeq•L–1) from the percent abundance of the 132 most abundant diatom taxa. By determining diatom distribution in relation to more detailed vegetation types within the boreal forest zone (wetland forest, spruce/fir forest, and lichen woodland), this calibration data set demonstrated the potential of these assemblages for revealing more subtle changes in lake catchment vegetation over time.