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The most latent cladoceran in the Holarctic revealed—sinking Unapertura Sarmaja-Korjonen, Hakojärvi & Korhola, 2000 into the genus Rhynchotalona Norman, 1903 (Branchiopoda: Cladocera: Chydoridae)

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The morphology of one of the smallest chydorid cladocerans in the world, Unapertura latens Sarmaja-Korjonen, Hakojärvi & Korhola, 2000 (Branchiopoda: Cladocera: Anomopoda) is studied herein. External features and postabdomen of the adult parthenogenetic female are discussed in detail for the first time, based on an intact specimen from northern Finland. Originally described on Quaternary fossil remains, we investigate the validity of the monotypic genus Unapertura and its position within the Aloninae subfamily, in particular in relation to Rhynchotalona Norman, 1903. As a result, we rename the taxon as Rhynchotalona latens comb. nov., based on morphology. The species, a glacial relict, seems one of the rarest cladocerans in contemporary waters in Finland, yet intact specimens are clearly overlooked and recent remains in surface sediments suggest an Arctic-Alpine distribution in oligotrophic habitats in the Holarctic.
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Independent Arctic records of temperature and precipitation from the same proxy archives are rare. Nevertheless, they are important for providing detailed information on long-term climate changes and temperature-precipitation relationships in the context of large-scale atmospheric dynamics. Here, we used chironomid and cladoceran fossil assemblages to reconstruct summer air-temperature and water-level changes, during the past 400 years, in a small lake located in Finnish Lapland. Temperatures remained persistently cold over the Little Ice Age (LIA), but increased in the 20 th century. After a cooler phase in the 1970s, the climate rapidly warmed to the record-high temperatures of the most recent decades. The lake-level reconstruction suggested persistently wet conditions for the LIA, followed by a dry period between ~1910 and 1970 CE, when the lake apparently became almost dry. Since the 1980s, the lake level has returned to a similar position as during the LIA. The temperature development was consistent with earlier records, but a significant local feature was found in the lake-level reconstruction-the LIA appears to have been continuously wet, without the generally depicted dry phase during the 18 th and 19 th centuries. Therefore, the results suggest local precipitation patterns and enforce the concept of spatially divergent LIA conditions.
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A long hidden chydorid (Chydoridae, Cladocera) taxon, first found as fossil specimens and recently redefined as Rhynchotalona latens (Sarmaja-Korjonen et al., Hydrobiologia 436: 165–169, 2000) is investigated for its biogeography and ecology. Late Holocene sediment sequence from Lake Sylvilampi, NE Finnish Lapland, and R. latens spatial distribution in relation to limno-climatic attributes in Finland were examined. Principal component analyses of fossil cladoceran communities showed that R. latens is mostly affiliated with Alonella excisa–Alonopsis elongata–Alonella nana species pool. Generalized linear modeling of R. latens responses to limno-climatic variation indicated that it prefers acidic, mesotrophic, humic and shallow lakes with organic sediments in NE Lapland and has a north boreal-subarctic climatic affiliation. At the northern end of its geographical distribution (NE Lapland), it reproduces with abundant gamogenesis under environmental stress. The specialized taxon is a benthic detritivore and scraper and has a Holarctic northern–alpine distribution. It is a glacial relict associated with modern analogs of periglacial aquatic environments, and it occurs in semi-aquatic wetlands, lush lake littorals and clear and cold waters. Examination of chydorids as bioindicators, especially those with restricted niches, allow us to understand biodiversity responses of lake littorals under changing limno-climatic regimes.
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