Chin J Plant Ecol


A fossil pollen dataset of China

ZHOU Bo-Rui1, LIAO Meng-Na1,2, LI Kai1,2, XU De-Yu1, CHEN Hai-Yan1, NI Jian1,2*, CAO Xian-Yong3, KONG Zhao-Chen4, XU Qing-Hai5, ZHANG Yun4, Ulrike HERZSCHUH6, CAI Yong-Li7, CHEN Bi-Shan8, CHEN Jing-An9, CHEN Ling-Kang10, CHENG Bo11, GAO Yang12, HUANG Ci-Xuan13, HUANG Xiao-Zhong14, LI Sheng-Feng15, LI Wen-Yi13, LIU Kam-Biu16, LIU Guang-Xiu17, LIU Ping-Mei18, LIU Xing-Qi19, MA Chun-Mei20, SONG Chang-Qing21, SUN Xiang-Jun22, TANG Ling-Yu23, WANG Man-Hua24, WANG Yong-Bo19, XIA Yu-Mei25, XU Jia-Sheng26, YAN Shun27, YANG Xiang-Dong28, YAO Yi-Feng29, YE Chuan-Yong30, ZHANG Zhi-Yong31, ZHAO Zeng-You32, ZHENG Zhuo33, ZHU Cheng15   

  1. 1College of Chemistry and Life Sciences, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, Zhejiang 321004, China; 2Jinhua Mountain Observation and Research Station for Subtropical Forest Ecosystems, Jinhua, Zhejiang 321004, China; 3State Key Laboratory of Tibetan Plateau Earth System Science, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; 4State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China; 5College of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050027, China; 6Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam 14473, Germany; 7School of Design, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200240, China; 8School of Geographical Sciences, Lingnan Normal University, Zhanjiang, Guangdong 524048, China; 9State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550081, China; 10College of Sciences, Guangdong University of Petrochemical Technology, Guangdong, 525000, China; 11College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China; 12School of Karst Science, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550001, China; 13Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; 14College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China; 15School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China; 16Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA; 17Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China; 18Department of Geosciences, Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, China; 19College of Resource Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China; 20School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China; 21State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China; 22School of Ocean and Earth Science, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China; 23Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China; 24School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Ludong University, Yantai, Shandong 264025, China; 25Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, 130102, China; 26The First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resource, Qingdao, Shandong 266061, China; 27Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ürümqi 830011, China; 28Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China; 29State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China; 30Institute of Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China; 31Lushan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jiujiang, Jiangxi 332900, China; 32School of Geographical Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China; and 33School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China

  • Contact: 倪健
  • Supported by:
    Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA19050103, XDA2009000003 and XDB31030104)


Fossil pollen and spore records provide highly creditable proxy data to investigate the past environmental changes such as palaeovegetation and palaeoclimate. Pollen database promotes past environmental studies from local to regional and global scales and from qualitative to quantitative reconstructions. This is of great significance on exploring the interactions among past vegetation, climates and anthropogenic disturbances at large spatial scale and long temporal scale, to better understand the evolution of the Earth system. In this paper, a fossil pollen dataset of China is compiled, by synthesizing 372 original or digitized fossil pollen records including 790 pollen taxa in China’s land and ocean during the late-Quaternary (since 50 ka BP). The dataset includes site names, latitude, longitude and altitude, pollen data source, sample type, sediment length or span, sample number of each site, dating method and dating number, age span and reference, as well as the fossil pollen percentage of each sampling site. The pollen data, mostly published from late 1980s to present, are concentrated in vegetation regions of temperate and subtropical forests, temperate grasslands, temperate deserts and alpine vegetation on the Qingzang Plateau. Sample sites are distributed at different elevations from deep sea to the high Qingzang Plateau, but the majority of the sites are located between 0–2 000 m. The dataset comprises of 178 raw pollen records (47.8%) and 194 digitized pollen records (52.2%). Pollen samples are mainly from lake sediment (151 sites), alluvial/fluvial sediment (99 sites), and peat (67 sites), accounting for 85.2% of the total sampling sites. Radiocarbon is the main dating method that accounts for 93.8% of total samples, and most of the sites have 2–10 radiocarbon dating data. Each site has an average number of pollen taxa of 19, with the most sites having 4–30 pollen taxa. The temporal and spatial distribution of representative pollen taxa (Pinus, Quercus, Artemisia, and Poaceae) reveals increasing trends both in their distributional range and pollen concentration from the last glacial maximum to Holocene, but such trends have various regional patterns in different parts of China. This fossil pollen dataset is a fruitful work of collection of pollen records in most territory of China that conducted by palynologists from China and overseas during the last half century. It consolidates the valuable and fundamental data that can be potentially utilized to explore the evolution of past environments and their driving mechanism of climate change and human disturbance.

Key words:

pollen database, fossil pollen; late-Quaternary, palaeovegetation, palaeoclimate