Subfossil cladocerans have rarely been used for paleoenvironmental reconstruction from New Zealand lake sediments, and here we detail the first examination of the response of cladocerans to past environments from an Auckland maar paleolake. Cladoceran remains were examined in the upper 230 cm of the lacustrine sediments spanning c. 9-31 cal. ka BP from Onepoto maar during which time the lake underwent significant changes. Lake level was relatively high during the Last Glacial Coldest Period (c. 28-18 cal. ka BP), with limited forest in the catchment, shoreline vegetation and low water temperature indicated by the presence of a planktonic taxon, Bosmina meridionalis, and a cold tolerant chydorid cladoceran Alona sp. (affinis type). However, the climate during the last glacial termination after c. 17.9 cal. ka BP changed abruptly, perhaps becoming extremely dry and windy, resulting in increased production of cladoceran resting eggs. Between c. 17.6 and 14.1 cal. ka BP, a gradually ameliorating climate with sustained windiness and dryness might have been unfavourable for hatching of chydorid cladoceran eggs and their recolonisation. After c. 14.1 cal. ka BP, continued climatic amelioration was accompanied by reduced lake levels inferred from high cladoceran littoral: planktonic ratios as well as increased cladoceran diversity and abundance of less cold tolerant chydorid taxa: Alona guttata, Alona sp. (intermedia type) and Alonella excisa. At c. 9 cal. ka BP, the maar crater rim was breached by the marine waters commensurate with postglacial sea-level rise, resulting in degraded water quality and production of a large number of cladoceran ephippia in the sediments.
12 p. (p. 31-42)
New Zealand journal of geology and geophysics, 53(1): 31-42