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Reconstruction of methane flux from lakes: development and application of a new approach (RECONMET)

Within the ERC Starting Grant Project RECONMET the stable carbon isotopic composition of aquatic invertebrate remains will be studied to provide information on past changes in the importance of methane as a carbon source for aquatic foodwebs. The project will study lake ecosystems in Switzerland, Finland, Germany, and Sweden to assess the extent to which the distinct carbon isotopic composition of methane can be traced in organic invertebrate remains from lakes with different methane concentrations and output. The aim is to develop carbon isotopic measurements on organic invertebrate remains as a new approach for reconstructing past changes in foodweb structure, methane availability, and methane fluxes in lakes.

Fieldwork at Lake Glimmeren, Sweden, to measure methane concentrations and obtain sediment samples for C-13 analysis


Oliver Heiri, Päivi Rinta, Jos Schilder, Tabea Stötter, Maarten van Hardenbroek

Markus Leuenberger (OCCR), Paul Bodelier (NIOO Wageningen), Jonathan Grey (Queen Mary University London), Roger Jones (University of Jyväskylä), Paula Kankaala (University of Eastern Finland), David Bastviken (University of Linköping), Beth Okamura (Natural History Museum London)


 Types of Chitinous Remains


Bryozoan statoblast


Chironomid head capsule


  • Eggermont, H; Heiri, O
    The chironomid-temperature relationship: expression in nature and palaeoenvironmental implications
    Biological Reviews 87: 430-456 2012

  • Heiri, O; Schilder, J; van Hardenbroek, M
    Stable isotopic analysis of fossil chironomids as an approach to environmental reconstruction: state of development and future challenges
    Fauna Norvegica 31: 7-18 2012

  • van Hardenbroek, M; Heiri, O; Parmentier, FJW; Bastviken, D; Ilyashuk, BP; Wiklund, JA; Hall, RI; Lotter, AF
    Evidence for past variations in methane availability in a Siberian thermokarst lake based on δ13C of chitinous invertebrate remains
    Quaternary Science Reviews 66: 74-84 2012

  • van Hardenbroek, M; Lotter, AF; Bastviken, D; Duc, NT; Heiri, O
    Relationship between δ13C of chironomid remains and methane flux in Swedish lakes
    Freshwater Biology 57: 166-177 2012

  • Verbruggen, F; Heiri, O; Reichart, GJ; Blaga, C; Lotter, AF
    Stable oxygen isotopes in chironomid and cladoceran remains as indicators for lake-water δ18O
    Limnology and Oceanography 56: 2071-2079 2011

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