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Grass habitat analysis and phytolith-based quantitative reconstruction of Asian monsoon climate change in the sand-loess transitional zone, northern China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2019

Hanlin Wang
Affiliation:
School of Geography and Ocean Science, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Centre for Climate Change, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
Huayu Lu*
Affiliation:
School of Geography and Ocean Science, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Centre for Climate Change, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
Hongyan Zhang
Affiliation:
School of Geography and Ocean Science, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Centre for Climate Change, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
Shuangwen Yi
Affiliation:
School of Geography and Ocean Science, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Centre for Climate Change, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
Yao Gu
Affiliation:
School of Geography and Ocean Science, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Centre for Climate Change, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
Chenghong Liang
Affiliation:
School of Geography and Ocean Science, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Centre for Climate Change, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
*
*Corresponding author at e-mail address: huayulu@nju.edu.cn (H. Lu).

Abstract

We investigated climate niches of grasses at regional scales and quantitatively reconstruct Asian monsoon precipitation at the sand-loess transitional zone in northern China. Our results provide direct evidence that certain grass lineages have been specialized in specific habitats: Pooideae grasses stand out and occupy a much cooler environment than all other subfamilies; Pooideae, Aristidoideae, and Chloridoieae occupy dry environments. Pooideae grasses occupy the coldest and driest environments compared to all other subfamilies, with a mean annual temperature (MAT) and precipitation (MAP) of ~13.6 to ~15.3°C and 224 to ~1674 mm, respectively, at a regional scale. We built a database for grasses and their corresponding climate parameters. Based on this database, past climate parameters at the margin of the Asian summer monsoon since ~70 ka were quantitatively reconstructed by phytolith assemblages. They show that this area was dominated by cold- and dry-adapted grasses since ~70 ka with a MAT and MAP of ~3.3 to ~11.0 °C and ~442 to ~900 mm, respectively, generally consistent with the results of phytolith-based transfer function reconstructions and with the results of previous nearby pollen-based quantitative reconstructions. With the improvement of the species-climate and ecosystem dataset, our database-based method is a promising quantitative reconstruction approach to past climatic change in the monsoon region.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2019 

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