INTRODUCTION

Ian R. Walker

 



Subfossil remains of freshwater midges (Diptera: Chironomidae, Ceratopogonidae & Chaoboridae) are being increasingly valued as indicators of limnological and climatic changes.  The growth in their use, coupled with the difficulty of identifying their remains, demands that specialised taxonomic references be developed to promote greater standardisation of subfossil identifications.  The emergence of the internet has simultaneously greatly improved communication among researchers, and the World Wide Web (WWW) in particular provides means for widely diseminating taxonomic keys, images of subfossil remains, and archived data from published research.  The WWW field guide is presented here to demonstrate the WWW's potential benefits for chironomid palaeoecological research.

These pages have evolved gradually over the years, and although they have long been accessible via the internet, their location was not advertised.  The location also changed several times.  I was trying to perfect these pages,  but of course they will never be perfect.  This is one of the great advantages of the WWW -  with essentially no expense I can "publish" new, improved editions of these pages, and distribute them among all of my colleagues.

Most palaeoecologists maintain extensive photograph collections of various remains, so that they may maintain a permanent record of representative specimens encountered previously.  These photographs are essential to maintain taxonomic consistency.  Prior to taking a sabbatical at University of Bern in 1996/97, I scanned in my collection of photographic prints, and gradually started to develop these pages.  Having the collection posted on the internet proved invaluable, because my photographs were then available to me at any location in the world, and were also readily accessible to my students working at Okanagan University College, University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University in Canada.  It became an essential tool in trying to maintain taxonomic consistency among people working at many different locations.

It is hoped that other researchers will find these pages useful, and I hope some of you will post contributions, improvements or additions to these pages.  Please contact me if you have ideas!
 

Greetings to all of you from Kelowna!!

Ian



©2007 Ian R. Walker. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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