Aquatic biota in Central Asia witnesses and faces a changing environment. Because ostracodes contribute to both extant and fossil lacustrine diversity, they can be used to track evolution in water quality. Living ostracode communities in a variety of aquatic habitats of western Mongolia were analyzed in relation to environmental and hydrochemical variables of those habitats, based on presence/absence data from net samples. The sampled water bodies represent broad gradients in ionic concentration and composition. Ostracode community composition of springs differed from all other sampled habitats, which was also reflected in CCA analyses. Our data indicated that the ostracode fauna of western Mongolia shows a high response to calcium content, alkalinity, salinity, temperature, nutrients, and altitude. Species composition and diversity seem to be determined by solute evolution dominated by Ca-depletion. In general, this seems to be an important regulator of lacustrine ostracode species composition in several semi-arid regions. Binary logistic regression was used to predict the occurrence of the most common species with a minimal set of environmental variables. The resulting models showed on average low performance, and mainly demonstrated the potential of such modeling to predict the distribution of typical bio-indicator species.
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Acknowledgments We thank Y. Khand and S. N. Soninkhishig for invaluable support during fieldwork, and D. Verschuren, H. Eggermont and J. Vandekerkhove for suggestions on an early draft of the manuscript. We are also grateful to the two anonymous referees for valuable comments which improved the quality of the manuscript. Collection of the study material was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grants DEB-0316503 to Mark Edlund (Science Museum of Minnesota) and JEA. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF. The research is funded by a PhD grant of the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation through Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT-Vlaanderen) to the first author. This is Contribution 09-24 of the Limnological Research Center of the University of Minnesota.
- Central Asia
- Quantitative ecology