Late Quaternary pollen records in China
NI Jian, CHEN Yu, Ulrike HERZSCHUH, DONG Dan
Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2010, 34 (8):
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Pollen data are the foundation of reconstructing past vegetation patterns and of studying past climate changes and interactions among atmosphere, biosphere and human activities. We searched for pollen-related literature published and reported from the 1960s to 2008 and collected late Quaternary pollen sampling information for China. We focused on the past 20 000 years before present (aBP), especially the Holocene. Information includes site name, detailed location in text and in latitude, longitude and elevation, sample type, sediment depth, number of pollen samples, radiocarbon dating, time period, and reference. There are 2 324 surface pollen samples from soils and lakes and 987 cores/profiles of sediment fossil records. Among them there are 714 fossil pollen sampling sites with high quality data of pollen and radiocarbon dating. Despite research has been performed by domestic and international paleo-scientists in collecting pollen samples and in Quaternary studies in China, geographical gaps exist due to the limitation of financial support and poor topographical conditions. These include the northern and northwestern desert areas, non-settlement area of the Tibetan Plateau, mountainous areas of middle-southern China and highly disturbed areas of eastern China. More pollen sampling records are needed to update and complete the information database. Such information will greatly benefit the Quaternary Chinese Pollen Database. Furthermore, scientific questions can be addressed based on the databases, such as what the geographical patterns of paleovegetation in China were during the late Quaternary, what were the key times of vegetation shifts (abrupt changes), what were the driving factors of vegetation changes, climate change or human disturbances, and how have vegetation changes influenced local and regional climates?