Paleolimnological investigations on a nutrient polluted freshwater lake, Lough Muckno, Northeast Ireland – Reconstructing anthropogenic impacts across timescales
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This project is based on a paleolimnological investigation at Lough Muckno, a large lake system located in County Monaghan, Republic of Ireland. The investigation is centered on a sediment core retrieved from the lake and systematic analyses and interpretations of a range of physical and biological indicators in sediment sub-samples. The main indicators analyzed include fossil pollen and chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) sub-fossils. Irish paleolimnology has greatly benefited from the glacial history of the island resulting in plentiful and readily accessible lake study sites, but also from the interest drawn by both local and foreign research clusters. Traditionally, Irish paleoecological investigations have mainly relied on pollen analysis (Mitchell et al, 2013), but paleolimnological applications involving of a range of physical, geochemical and biological indicators have become increasingly common (e.g., Anderson, 1997; Taylor et al, 2006; Dalton et al, 2014; McKeown and Potito, 2016). In the context of this investigation, apart from a brief and explorative geochemical study in L. Muckno (Douglas et al, 1978), the results presented represent the first robust paleolimnological investigation in the study site, and the second in Co. Monaghan (see Carson et al, 2014). This highlights the local and regional relevance of this project.