The Lake El'gygytgyn sediment record contains an abundant diatom flora through most intervals of the lake's history, providing a means to create and test hypotheses concerning the lake's response to changing climates. The 0-1.2 Ma core interval is characterized by shifts in the dominant planktonic genera and events of exceptional concentration and diversity. Warm interglacial intervals have enhanced concentration and diversity of the plankton. This response is most extreme during exceptional events corresponding to marine isotope stages (MIS) 11 and 31. Diatom concentration and diversity also increase during some cold intervals (e.g., MIS 2), suggesting conditions of lake circulation and nutrient cycling promoting diatom production during these events. Short intervals of low plankton concentration accompanied by shifts in the dominant genus of the lake suggest conditions during certain cold events generate a severe impact on plankton production. The absence of these events during extended intervals of low summer insolation variability suggests a muted cold-event response of the lake system linked to regional climate.
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