Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Taylor, KJ,Stolze, S,Beilman, DW,Potito, AP
2017
June
Holocene
Response of chironomids to Neolithic land-use change in north-west Ireland
Published
WOS: 4 ()
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Chironomids geochemistry Ireland lake response Neolithic Palaeolimnology COUNTY SLIGO LAKE PRODUCTIVITY SURFACE SEDIMENTS AIR TEMPERATURES EUTROPHICATION PHOSPHORUS LOUGH VARIABILITY INSECTA HISTORY
27
879
889
This study provides the first decadally resolved chironomid and organic geochemistry record of the Irish Neolithic from a small lake adjacent to the Carrowkeel-Keshcorran complex in County Sligo, Ireland. Chironomid (non-biting midge fly) sub-fossils and lake sediment geochemistry (C-13, N-15 and C:N) from the Templevanny Lough core were used to assess the timing and magnitude of within-lake responses to Neolithic farming activity. When compared with decadally resolved pollen and macroscopic charcoal records from the same core, the limnological data show a direct influence of prehistoric farming on a freshwater lake system through nutrient loading and lake eutrophication. Elevated nutrient levels, suggesting a more productive lake system, and a subsequent turnover in the chironomid community indicate a period of intensive farming activity from c. 3790-3620 BC in the early Neolithic. This was followed by a decline in farming with short periods of small-scale human activity, exemplified through nutrient loading and short-lived increases in eutrophic chironomid taxa during the middle to late Neolithic. A return of farming activity can be seen in all proxy data in the late Neolithic (c. 2720-2480 BC). The chironomid community composition typically lagged land-use change by c. 10-20years and exhibited predictable and proportional responses to agricultural activity. The timing and magnitude of limnological changes show that land-use, rather than climate, is the main control on chironomids at Templevanny Lough, thus showing the potential prominence of the anthropogenic signal during the Neolithic.
10.1177/0959683616675935
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