A CHIRONOMID PALAEOECOLOGY DATABASE

Ian R. Walker

CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
USEFUL SOFTWARE
DATA ARCHIVE

INTRODUCTION

As the number of chironomid palaeoecology study sites expands, it is becoming increasingly important to establish and maintain a central repository for such data. The U. S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration already maintains extensive electronic archives for palaeoclimatological data, and has offered to add chironomid data to its holdings. Since they are willing to archive chironomid data, there seems little point in establishing a separate repository.

To minimize the effort required to establish such a database, persons working in my laboratory are making use of formatting tools previously developed for similar data derived from palaeobotanical analyses.

Although the computer program TILIA was first developed for stratigraphic pollen studies, it is equally valuable as a tool for chironomid palaeoecological data. TILIA, version 2.0, provides a spreadsheet for stratigraphic counts, but also allows data manipulations, and provides links to a series of form files in which site characteristics, core lithology, radiocarbon dates, and other pertinent information may be archived. Tools for analysis of TILIA-formatted data are also available, including CONISS (for stratigraphic cluster analyses), CA (for correspondence analysis), and TILIA-GRAPH (for stratigraphic plots). TILIA, TILIA-GRAPH, and CONISS are electronically distributed DOS-based programs which may be obtained free-of-charge. However, the drivers necessary for using the program TILIA-GRAPH must be purchased from Dr. Eric Grimm (Illinois State Museum, Research and Collections Center, 1920 South 10 1/2 Street, Springfield, IL 62703, U. S).

The raw chironomid counts for each study site (archived as TILIA files) and accompanying form files may then be archived as compressed files, using the DOS program PKZIP, and later decompressed using the program PKUNZIP. (MacIntosh users may also produce and decompress these ZIP files using the computer program ZIPIT).

For current information on how to contribute to the database, including assistance with data retrieval and submission, please consult: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/contrib.html


HOW TO OBTAIN TILIA & RELATED SOFTWARE

The most recent version of TILIA is available as a self-extracting file from:

DOWNLOAD TILIA (ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM site)

For futher information on TILIA, see: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/tiliafaq.html


SOFTWARE FOR SUBMITTING NEW DATA

PKZIP is a program used to produce compressed files for archival purposes. ZIP2EXE.EXE converts these compressed files into self-extracting compressed files.

These programs may be obtained from PKWARE Inc.


DATA ARCHIVE

Our archive is presently very limited, but will grow with future submissions. These data are in zipped TILIA 2.0 files with accompanying forms. See: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/insect.html.

The sites available from the NOAA Palaeoecology Database thus far include:

a) CORE DATA

b) SURFACE SAMPLE DATASETS



©2007 Ian R. Walker. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Last Update: 29 January 2007



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