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The Asian monsoon is an important component of the global climate system. Seasonal variations in wind, rainfall, and temperature associated with the Asian monsoon systems affect a vast expanse of tropical and subtropical Asia. Speleothem-derived summer monsoon variation in East Asia was previously found to be closely associated with millennial-scale change in temperature in the North Atlantic region between 75 and 10 ka. New evidence recovered from East Asia, however, suggests that the teleconnection between summer monsoon in East Asia and temperature change in the North Atlantic region may have significantly reduced during 120 to ~ 110 ka, a period directly after the full last interglaciation and corresponding roughly to marine oxygen isotope stage 5d. This reduction may be due to the low ice volume in the North Hemisphere at that time, which makes the millennial-scale change in temperature in the North Atlantic region less effective in influencing the Asian summer monsoon. This is important for investigating the mechanisms controlling the Asian summer monsoon and the paleoclimatic teleconnection between East Asia and the North Atlantic region, and for predicting monsoon-associated precipitation in East Asia under a global-warming trend.
The sediments in Lake Huguang Maar in coastal South China were previously thought to originate mainly from wind-blown dust transported from North China, such that the lake sediments recorded the varying strength of the Asian winter monsoon. An alternative explanation was that the local pyroclastic rocks supplied the lake sediments, but the actual contributions from the different sources remained unclear. Geochemical analyses including 87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd and trace elements support the local pyroclastic rock as the dominant source: <22% of the total Sr in the lake sediments and ∼ 17% of the Nd arises from the distant source. Nb/Ta and Zr/Hf for the lake sediments are identical to those for the local rock but differ from the ratios for the wind-blown dust, and chondrite-normalized rare earth element patterns for the lake sediments are similar to those for the local rock and soil, but differ from those for the distant source. The sediments in Lake Huguang Maar are probably input into the lake through runoff and thus controlled by the hydrology of the lake. Wind-blown dust transported by the Asian winter monsoon from arid North China is only a minor contribution to the sediments.
Musa L. was previously separated into five sections (Eumusa, Rhodochlamys, Callimusa, Australimusa and Ingentimusa) based on basic chromosome numbers and morphological characters. However, several molecular analyses currently support restructuring of Musa species into two sections, Musa and Callimusa. The application of simple sequence repeat molecular marker analysis to Musa phylogeny provided valuable, supplemental information about the classification of, and relationships between, Musa species and subspecies. Totally, 28 accessions of Musa acuminata Colla subspecies and varieties and 25 accessions of other Musa species were evaluated; 12 primers produced 91 polymorphic bands, polymorphic information content ranged from 0.4473 to 0.8394 (average = 0.7226), indicating that the primers showed a high level of polymorphism. Our results generally agreed with previous phylogenetic analyses based on molecular data. One clade comprised species of sections Australimusa and Callimusa (X= 10/9); most species of sections Eumusa and Rhodochlamys (X= 11) formed the other clade. The relationships between most species were as expected; however, some species did not conform to findings of previous studies. A wide range of variability was observed in the M. acuminata complex. M. acuminata var. chinensis and M. acuminata subsp. 522 showed the most distant relationships to other subspecies: Musa laterita, Musa ornata and Musa velutina clustered with M. acuminata var. chinensis, suggesting that they may constitute a secondary gene pool for the improvement of cultivated bananas. Molecular data indicated that Musa tongbiguanensis Chen You & Yao-Ting Wu, which was observed and described by our research group in Yunnan, China, was a distinct, new species.
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