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Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina

versión impresa ISSN 0373-5680versión On-line ISSN 1851-7471


MASSAFERRO, Julieta. Paleoecology: the use of fossil chironomids (Diptera: Chironomidae) for paleoenvironmental reconstructions in Patagonia. Rev. Soc. Entomol. Argent. [online]. 2009, vol.68, n.1-2, pp.209-217. ISSN 0373-5680.

Pollen, ostracods, diatoms and insects such as beetles and chironomids are the biological indicators from lake sediments more useful in environmental reconstructions. Chironomids have recently acquired great importance due to the promising results obtained regarding climatic reconstructions mainly in Europe and North America. In South America, the use of fossil chironomids in Quaternary studies is still limited and the reason for that is the little regional taxonomic knowledge. Most of these studies were developed in glacial lakes in Patagonia both in Argentina and Chile. The larvae of chironomids are an invaluable paleolimnological tool due to the sensitiveness of these insects to natural and non-natural environmental changes. In addition to that, this group of insects is widely distributed with a high abundance and diversity. Their head capsules can preserve in sediments holding characters which allow their generic and sometimes specific identification. The study of chironomid assemblages can be used with different goals, for instance, to study eutrofication due to their quick response to changes in organic matter, nutrients and heavy metals. However, one of the most significant potentials of this group is its sensitivity to temperature variations, which is why the most important implementation of their study in sediments is centered in climatic reconstructions. This article is a review of the studies developed in Argentinean and Chilean Patagonia, using fossil chironomids for paleoenvironmental reconstructions.

Palabras clave : Lake sediments; Paleoenvironmental reconstructions; Chironomid insects; Quaternary; Patagonia.

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