SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, Volume 64 , Issue 10 : 1774-1783(2021) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-020-9757-1

Indication of paleoecological evidence on the evolution of alpine vegetation productivity and soil erosion in central China since the mid-Holocene

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  • ReceivedAug 22, 2020
  • AcceptedMar 15, 2021
  • PublishedAug 2, 2021



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41901092, 41171160), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (Grant No. GK202003069).


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  • Figure 1

    (a) Taibai Mountains in relation to the Westerlies, East Asian Summer Monsoon, and Indian Summer Monsoon. Broken white line represents the limit of the modern Asian Summer Monsoon and blue line indicates the region of transition between modern subtropical and temperate Asia. (b) Paomaliang Swamp (from Google Images).

  • Figure 2

    Bayesian age-depth model of Paomaliang 13 (PML13) sequence from Taibai Mountains for past 5850 years. Upper left, Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) iteration; upper middle, prior (green curve) and posterior (grey histogram) distribution of cumulative rate; upper right, memory; lower half: blue points, calibrated 14C dates with error ranges; grey stippled lines, 95% confidence interval of model calculation; and red curve, best estimation based on weighted mean ages for each depth.

  • Figure 3

    Long-term trends in vegetation productivity and soil erosion in Taibai Mountains. Variations of environmental proxies in the Paomaliang 13 (PML13) sediment sequence are listed, along with their comparison with the East Asian Summer Monsoon index (Wang et al., 2005, 2008; Liu et al., 2014), summer precipitation, and mean annual temperature (He, 2011; Liu et al., 2014).

  • Figure 4

    Changes in parameters of magnetic minerals, namely χlf, ARM, IRM300 mT, SIRM, IRM−100 mT, IRM−300 mT, IRM300 mT/SIRM, IRM−100 mT/SIRM, IRM−300 mT/SIRM, and ARM/SIRM with age in Paomaliang (PML13) sediment sequence.

  • Figure 5

    Ordination diagram showing the results of redundancy analysis of environmental proxies and climate variables.

  • Figure 6

    Relationship between climate, vegetation productivity, and intensity of soil erosion on Taibai Mountains in central China.

  • Table 1   Correlation between climate factors and environmental proxiesa)

    Environmental proxies

    Indicative significance




    Mean annual temperature


    The lake productivity and the vegetation condition of the catchment




    C/N ratio

    The relative contribution of terrestrial and aquatic organic matter sources




    Total pollen concentration

    Vegetation productivity




    Arboreal pollen concentration

    Vegetation productivity




    AP/NAP ratio

    Vegetation productivity




    Mean grain size

    Coarse grains indicate an increase in erosion intensity, whereas fine grains indicate a decrease in erosion intensity




    Integrated erosion intensity

    Integrated soil erosion proxy based on principal component analysis




    * significant at p<0.01 according to t-test; ** significant at p<0.05 according to t-test.


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