Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Taylor, KJ,Potito, AP,Beilman, DW,Ghilardi, B,O'Connell, M
2017
March
Journal Of Paleolimnology
Impact of early prehistoric farming on chironomid communities in northwest Ireland
Published
Optional Fields
Chironomids Neolithic Bronze age Prehistoric farming Eutrophication Stable isotopes Ireland COUNTY SLIGO SURFACE SEDIMENTS LAKE HOLOCENE PHOSPHORUS HISTORY RECONSTRUCTION DISTURBANCE DYNAMICS INSECTA
57
227
244
This study explored the utility and performance of chironomid (Diptera: Chironomidae) autecology in the investigation of prehistoric farming impacts on freshwater lake systems. Chironomid subfossils, lake sediment geochemistry (delta C-13, delta N-15 and C:N), pollen and macroscopic charcoal analyses were used in a comparative limnological assessment of three archaeologically rich study sites in northwest Ireland. At all three study sites, pastoral farming and its associated nutrient inputs, as represented by non-arboreal pollen indicative of grassland/pasture (NAPp) and lake sediment geochemistry, are concomitant with increases in eutrophic chironomid taxa. Redundancy analysis (RDA) and partial RDAs established that delta N-15 and NAPp were controlling factors of chironomid community compositional change during the Neolithic (4000-2500 BC) and Bronze Age (2500-600 BC). Bronze Age farming had a considerably greater impact on the lake systems than Neolithic farming, as indicated by a higher proportion of eutrophic taxa and increases in delta N-15, C:N and delta C-13 values, consistent with increased erosion and agricultural inputs. Findings emphasise the importance of identifying the natural, pre-impacted state of a lake system to determine the extent of agricultural impact accurately. The timing and magnitude of change show that Neolithic and Bronze Age farming exhibited a strong control over chironomid communities at all three sites.
10.1007/s10933-017-9942-6
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