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Contribution to Books

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The Diatoms : Applications for the Environmental and Earth Sciences, 2nd ed.


Water-level changes result from a variety of geological, biological, and/or climatic processes. Many of these changes occur over long periods; others may be rapid or result from catastrophic events. In aquatic environments, diatoms are highly sensitive indicator organisms and their microfossils, deposited in lake sediments, can be used to infer environmental changes (Smol, 2008). Unambiguous diatom signals can be reconstructed from lakes isolated from marine or brackish waters (e.g. Fritz et al., this volume; Horton & Sawai, this volume). However, in freshwater systems lake-level changes are often recorded as increases in planktonic (free-floating) diatoms – although as discussed below, interpretation of this signal should be supported by additional evidence.