Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2017, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (7): 779-786.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2017.0019

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Preliminary study on pollen distribution in the surface soil of the Turpan region in the southern slope of Tianshan Mountains, Xinjiang, China

Li WANG1,2,3, Yun ZHANG1,*(), Zhao-Chen KONG1, Zhen-Jing YANG4, Shun YAN5, Yue-Cong LI3   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environment Change, Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China

    2College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

    3College of Resources and Environment, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050024, China

    4Institute of Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Shijiazhuang 050061, China
    5Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ürümqi 830011, China
  • Received:2017-01-21 Accepted:2017-06-01 Online:2017-07-10 Published:2017-08-21
  • Contact: Yun ZHANG
  • About author:

    KANG Jing-yao(1991-), E-mail:


Aims Our main purposes were to analyze the relationship between vegetation and pollen in the surface soil of the Turpan region, which is located in the southern slope of the eastern Tianshan Mountains, and to compare different pollen assemblages between the Turpan region and the northern slope of the Tianshan Mountains.Methods We collected 36 modern pollen samples and carried out modern vegetation survey in the Turpan region along an altitudinal gradient from 2 000 m to -154 m. Detrended correspondence analysis and Redundancy analysis were applied to analyze the distribution pattern of pollen in surface soils. Important findings We divided the pollen spectra into four pollen assemblage zones (mountain desert-steppe and desert, Gobi gravel, typical desert and salt mash vegetation), corresponding to the major vegetation types in the Turpan region. When compared with the northern slope, the characteristics of pollen assemblages in the mountain desert-steppe and desert were similar to those in the forest-steppe on the northern slope of the Tianshan Mountains; the pollen assemblages in the Gobi gravel and the typical desert seemed to be more consistent with those in the typical desert on the northern slope; however, no analogue was found in the salt mash vegetation. Obviously, the vertical pollen spectra in Turpan region were incomplete, lacking typical forest and Artemisia desert pollen zones. Besides, similar pollen zones in the Turpan region were found at an elevation of about 300 m higher than those in the northern slope. It is remarkable that the typical tree pollen, such as Picea and Pinus, showed their extra representation in the Turpan region. On one hand, the valley forest on the southern slope of the Tianshan mountains played an important role in pollen dispersal. On the other hand, with the cold air on the northern slope over the Tianshan Mountains, pollen may be carried and deposited in the Turpan region. The rivers feeding into Aiding Lake in the Turpan region may also contribute to the distribution of Picea and Pinuspollen. Lots of pollen studies have shown that the ratio of Artemisia to Chenopodiaceae (A/C) can be used as a good indicator of the degree of humidity in the semi-arid and arid areas. Our study revealed that A/C can roughly reflect the characteristics of the desert zone in the study area. The results of Redundancy Analysis ordination on pollen assemblages and environmental factors (mean annual temperature (MAT), mean annual precipitation (MAP) and altitude (ALT)) revealed that MAP was the main environmental factor affecting the pollen assemblages in the surface soil in the Turpan region and had more significant effects on the distribution of Nitraria pollen than on the distribution of Artemisia and Chenopodiaceae.

Key words: Turpan region, surface pollen, Picea, Tianshan Mountains, Xinjiang