Vegetation and climate change during the last deglaciation in the Great Khingan Mountain, Northeastern China

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Abstract

? 2016 Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.The Great Khingan Mountain range, Northeast China, is located on the northern limit of modern East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) and thus highly sensitive to the extension of the EASM from glacial to interglacial modes. Here, we present a high-resolution pollen record covering the last glacial maximum and the early Holocene from a closed crater Lake Moon to reconstruct vegetation history during the glacial-interglacial transition and thus register the evolution of the EASM during the last deglaciation. The vegetation history has gone through distinct changes from subalpine meadow in the last glacial maximum to dry steppe dominated by Artemisia from 20.3 to 17.4 ka BP, subalpine meadow dominated by Cyperaceae and Artemisia between 17.4 and 14.4 ka BP, and forest steppe dominated by Betula and Artemisia after 14.4 ka BP. The pollen-based temperature index demonstrates a gradual warming trend started at around 20.3 ka BP with interruptions of several brief events. Two cold conditions occurred around at 17.2-16.6 ka BP and 12.8-11.8 ka BP, temporally correlating to the Henrich 1 and the Younger Dryas events respectively, 1and abrupt warming events occurred around at 14.4 ka BP and 11.8 ka BP, probably relevant to the beginning of the B?lling-Aller?d stages and the Holocene. The pollen-based moisture proxy shows distinct drought condition during the last glacial maximum (20.3-18.0 ka BP) and the Younger Dryas. The climate history based on pollen record of Lake Moon suggests that the regional temperature variability was coherent with the classical climate in the North Atlantic, implying the dominance of the high latitude processes on the EASM evolution from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to early Holocene. The local humidity variability was influenced by the EASM limitedly before the B?lling-Aller?d warming, which is mainly controlled by the summer rainfall due to the EASM front covering the Northeast China after that.

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Wu, J., Liu, Q., Wang, L., Chu, G. Q., & Liu, J. Q. (2016). Vegetation and climate change during the last deglaciation in the Great Khingan Mountain, Northeastern China. PLoS ONE, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0146261

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