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Holocene Insect Fossils from Two Sites at Ennadai Lake, Keewatin, Northwest Territories, Canada

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Scott A. Elias*
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada

Abstract

Ennadai Lake, in the forest-tundra ecotonal region of Keewatin, Northwest Territories, Canada, has been the subject of several paleoecological investigations (palynology, plant macrofossils, fossil soils). This study concerns Holocene insect fossils at Ennadai, a new approach in a region shown to be sensitive to climatic change. The Ennadai I site yielded 53 taxa, representing 13 families of Coleoptera and 7 families of other insects and arachnids, including abundant ants. These fossils range in age from about 6300 to 630 yr B.P. The Ennadai II site produced fossils of 58 taxa, including 13 beetle families and 15 families of other arthropods, ranging in age from 4700 to 870 yr B.P. The insect evidence suggests the presence of trees in the Ennadai region from 6000 to 2200 yr B.P. A conifer pollen decline from 4800 to 4500 yr B.P. at Ennadai has previously been interpreted as an opening up or retreat of forest in response to climatic cooling, but the insect fossils reveal the continued presence of trees during this interval. Both insect assemblages suggest trends of forest retreat and tundra expansion between about 2200 and 1500 yr B.P., presumably due to climatic cooling, with a return of woodland by about 1000 yr B.P.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
University of Washington

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