An ostracod-based record of paleoecological conditions during MIS6 and MIS5, from Lake Chalco, Basin of Mexico

C. M. Chávez-Lara, S. Lozano-García, B. Ortega-Guerrero, M. Caballero-Miranda, D. Avendaño, E. T. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A sediment record from Lake Chalco, Basin of Mexico, revealed the presence of two endemic ostracod species during the latter part of Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 6 (146–130 ka) and MIS5 (130–72 ka), namely Candona alchichica and Limnocytherina axalapasco. Higher abundance of C. alchichica was found during MIS6, when prevailing conditions were cold, lake waters were fresh, and relatively deep bottom waters were anoxic. The species is typically associated with saline environments today, consistent with its presence in MIS5 sediments. The Chalco record, however, reveals that it coexisted with freshwater diatom species during MIS6. Thus, we suggest that C. alchichica had a wider salinity tolerance, ranging from freshwater to more saline environments. Examination of MIS5 substages provides further insights into ostracod species responses to changing lake conditions. During MIS5e, the lake water level declined and salinity and dissolved oxygen in the water column increased, thereby favouring L. axalapasco productivity, whereas C. alchichica productivity decreased. Enhanced runoff and lower than average evaporation during MIS5d coincided with the increasing abundance of C. alchichica, suggesting a period of relatively high lake level and more dilute waters. These environmental conditions, however, changed during MIS5c when lake stage dropped once again and L. axalapasco abundance increased. Shallow conditions during this substage were optimal for L. axalapasco. Subsequently, as the lake level continued to decline during MIS5b, both ostracod species disappeared from the sediment record. Finally, during MIS5a, runoff increased and both ostracod species reappeared in the record, with L. axalapasco dominating, suggesting another period of lake level recovery. Increased evaporation rates during the last part of this substage (75–72 cal ka BP) may have led to disappearance of ostracods from the sediment record. Overall, during MIS5, we detected higher L. axalapasco, which represent relatively shallow lake conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-373
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Paleolimnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by UNAM DGAPA-PAPIIT IN103819 and by the US NSF (EAR-1462347). CMCL was awarded a Scholarship from DGAPA for her Postdoctoral Research at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. XRF core scanning was performed at the Large Lakes Observatory, University of Minnesota-Duluth. Special thanks to the authorities of the Ejido Tulyehualco for their support and access to the drilling site. Technical assistance was provided by Susana Sosa and Rodrigo Martínez-Abarca. Suggestions and comments of both reviewers, Associate Editor Maarten van Hardenbroek, and Co-Editor-in-Chief Mark Brenner are gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Candona alchichica
  • Glacial–interglacial
  • Lake Chalco
  • Limnocytherina axalapasco
  • North America
  • Ostracods

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