The construction of a diatom-based chlorophyll a transfer function and its application at three lakes on Signy Island (maritime Antarctic) subject to differing degrees of nutrient enrichment
1. Canonical correspondence analysis of a diatom and water chemistry dataset from fifty-nine maritime Antarctic lakes situated on Signy and Livingston Islands showed that nutrients and functions of nutrients (NH4+, chlorophyll a) accounted for a significant fraction of the variance in the diatom data. 2. Weighted averaging regression was used to construct a diatom-based transfer function for inferring chlorophyll a concentrations from sediment core diatom assemblages. 3. The transfer function was applied to 210Pb-dated sediment cores from three lakes (Moss, Sombre and Heywood) receiving different levels of nutrient input from fur seal populations, i.e. low, medium and high, respectively. 4. Moss Lake showed relatively stable reconstructed chlorophyll a values, and no evidence of recent eutrophication, agreeing with measured chlorophyll a concentrations at the site. 5. Changes in diatom assemblages and results of chlorophyll a reconstructions at Sombre Lake suggested that nutrient enrichment had occurred, which could be clearly linked to fluctuations in the measured water chemistry over the last 10–14 years. 6. Despite recorded increases in recent nutrient inputs there was no apparent diatom response at Heywood Lake.