Artemisia/Chenopodiaceae ratio from surface lake sediments on the central and western Tibetan Plateau and its application

Publication date: 1 August 2017
Source:Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Volume 479
Author(s): Qingfeng Ma, Liping Zhu, Junbo Wang, Jianting Ju, Xinmiao Lü, Yong Wang, Yun Guo, Ruimin Yang, Thomas Kasper, Torsten Haberzettl, Lingyu Tang
Artemisia and Chenopodiaceae are the two main pollen taxa in studies of lake sediments on the central and western Tibetan Plateau (TP). In this paper, we present Artemisia/Chenopodiaceae (A/C) ratios in pollen assemblages of surface sediments from 42 lakes on the central and western TP. Relationships between vegetation, climate and A/C ratio are investigated. The results show that the A/C ratio in the study region can distinguish desert from steppe vegetation. As a whole, the A/C ratio was higher than 1.2 in the steppe vegetation and lower than 1.2 in the desert vegetation zone. Statistical analysis revealed that the A/C ratio can be used as a moisture indicator on the TP. Based on the A/C ratio in pollen assemblages of sediment core TAN12-2 from Lake Tangra Yumco, we reconstructed the vegetation and climate history of the southern TP during the transitional period from the late glacial to the Holocene (17.5–10calkyrBP). From 17.5 to 16calkyrBP, desert vegetation occurred and climate was extremely dry. During 16–15calkyrBP, desert was replaced by steppe vegetation and climate became wetter. From 15 to 10calkyrBP, the lake basin of Tangra Yumco was covered by the steppe vegetation and climate tended to be more humid. Comparing our results with other lacustrine records on the TP, we found that the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) significantly affected the southern TP earlier than the northeastern TP.

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