Arthropod fossils from Quaternary deposits in Greenland are considered. The few occurrences of Early and Middle Pleistocene age have yielded only three species of barnacles. This contrasts sharply with the last interglacial stage which is represented by many sites, from which a range of marine, lacustrine and terrestrial crustaceans and insects are reported. The only secure late glacial sediments from Greenland are found in the far south, and only a few taxa of arthropods have so far been identified from these. The best dated and richest faunas come from the Holocene. Most records of insects are from the late Holocene, but there are also a number of finds from the early and mid Holocene. Arthropods are considered good palaeoclimate indicators, because they are generally dispersed quicker, for example, than vascular plants. This group of animals is also highly useful for reconstructing former ecological conditions, because they occupy such a wide range of biotopes. A total of about 105 taxa have been reported so far, but several groups of arthropods, such as marine ostracodes, chironomids and oribatids, have received little attention, and many more taxa can be expected when these groups are being studied in the future.
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima