Vegetation and Climate Variations at Taibai, Qinling Mountains in Central China for the Last 3 500 cal BP

Authors

  • Xiao-Qiang LI,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710075, China;
      *Author for correspondence. Tel: +86 (0)29 8832 4671; Fax: +86 (0)29 8832 0456; E-mail: 〈lxq@loess.llqg.ac.cn〉.
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  • John DODSON,

    1. Institute for the Environment, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK;
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  • Jie ZHOU,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710075, China;
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  • Su-Min WANG,

    1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
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  • Qian-Li SUN

    1. State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710075, China;
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  • Supported by the State Key Basic Research and Development Plan of China (2004CB720200), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (40372077, 40121303), the Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KZCX3-SW-146, KZCX2-SW-118).

*Author for correspondence. Tel: +86 (0)29 8832 4671; Fax: +86 (0)29 8832 0456; E-mail: 〈lxq@loess.llqg.ac.cn〉.

Abstract

Abstract: Pollen records of two swamp sections, located at Taibai Mountain, the highest peak in the Qinling Mountains of central China, show variations of vegetation and climate for the last 3 500 cal BP. The pollen assemblage at the Foyechi and Sanqingchi sections and the surface soil pollen allowed us to reconstruct a high-altitude vegetation history at Taibai Mountain for the first time. The data indicated that there was a cold-dry climate interval between 3 500 and 3 080 cal BP and a relatively warm and wet period compared with the present from 3 080 to 1 860 cal BP. The warmest period in the late Holocene on Taibai Mountain was from 1430 to 730 cal BP, with an approximate 2 °C increase in mean annual temperature compared with today. There was a relatively cool-dry climate interval from 730 to 310 cal BP. After 310 cal BP, a mountain tundra vegetation developed again and the position of the modern tree line was established.

(Managing editor: Ya-Qin HAN)

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