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Quantitative relationship between water-depth and sub-fossil ostracod assemblages in Lake Donggi Cona, Qinghai Province, China

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Mischke, S. , Bößneck, U. , Diekmann, B. , Herzschuh, U. , Jin, H. , Kramer, A. , Wünnemann, B. and Zhang, C. (2010): Quantitative relationship between water-depth and sub-fossil ostracod assemblages in Lake Donggi Cona, Qinghai Province, China , Journal of Paleolimnology:, 43 , pp. 589-608 . doi: 10.1007/s10933-009-9355-2
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Abstract:

A calibration data set of 51 surface sediment samples from Lake Donggi Cona on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau was investigated to study the relationship between sub-fossil ostracod assemblages and water depth. Samples were collected over a depth range from 0.6 to 80 m. A total of 16 ostracod species was identified from the lake with about half of the species restricted to the Tibetan Plateau and its adjacent mountain ranges and poorly known in terms of ecological preferences, and the other half displaying a mainly Holarctic distribution. Living macrophytes and macroalgae were recorded in Lake Donggi Cona down to a depth of about 30 m, and bivalve (Pisidium cf. zugmayeri) and gastropod (Gyraulus, Radix) shells were found down to depths of 43 and 48 m, respectively. The ostracod-waterdepth relationship was assessed by multivariate statistical analysis and ostracod-based transfer functions for water depth were constructed. Weighted averaging partial least squares (WA-PLS) regression provided the best model with a coefficient of determination r2 of 0.91 between measured and ostracod-inferred water depth, a root mean square error of prediction of 8% and a maximum bias of 10.6% of the gradient length, as assessed by leaveone-out cross-validation. Our results show the potential of ostracods as palaeo-depth indicators in appropriate settings. However, transfer-function applications using fossil ostracod assemblages for palaeo-depth estimations require a thorough understanding of the palaeolimnological conditions of lakes and therefore detailed multi-proxy analysis to avoid misinterpretation of ostracod-based inferences.

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