Chironomid (Diptera: Chironomidae) head capsules were studied from a core of recent sediments from shallow, macrophyte-dominated Lake Opinicon, Ontario, Canada, to determine if assemblages have changed in response to lake-level changes and other watershed disturbances, including deforestation and agriculture. Our results indicate that the construction of the Rideau Canal in the early 1830s and subsequent flooding of Lake Opinicon has had the greatest impact on this system, but that even this disturbance did not greatly affect chironomid assemblages. Despite other significant cultural disturbances in the watershed, the lake sediments have recorded only minor changes in its recent history, providing support for the hypothesis of alternative lake equilibria. These results correspond well with diatom inferences of only minor changes in past lake trophic status.
Sediment cores using a Glew gravity corer