Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Paleolimnology 49 (2013), pp. 349–362; doi: 10.1007/s10933-013-9684-z


Copyright © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Used by permission.


Following deglaciation, the long-term pattern of change in diatom communities and the inferred history of the aquatic environment are affected by a hierarchy of environmental controls. These include direct climate impacts on a lake’s thermal and hydrologic budgets, aswell as the indirect affects of climate on catchment processes, such as weathering, soil development, microbial activity, fire, and vegetation composition and productivity,which affect the transfer of solutes and particulates from the terrestrial ecosystem into the lake. Some of these catchment influences on lacustrine systems operate as time-dependent patterns of primary succession that are set in motion by glacier retreat. This paper provides a conceptual model of some dominant pathways of catchment influence on long-term lake development in glaciated regions and uses a series of paleolimnological examples from arctic, boreal, and temperate regions to evaluate the relative role of direct climate influences and of catchment processes in affecting the trajectory of aquatic ecosystems during the Holocene in different environmental contexts.