Browsing by Subject "TIBETAN PLATEAU"

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  • Lucke, Bernhard; Roskin, Joel; Vanselow, Kim André; Bruins, Hendrik; Abu-Jaber, Nizar; Deckers, Katleen; Lindauer, Susanne; Porat, Naomi; Reimer, Paula J.; Bäumler, Rupert; Erickson-Gini, Tali; Kouki, Paula (2019)
    Loess accumulated in the Negev desert during the Pleistocene and primary and secondary loess remains cover large parts of the landscape. Holocene loess deposits are however absent. This could be due low accumulation rates, lack of preservation, and higher erosion rates in comparison to the Pleistocene. This study hypothesized that archaeological ruins preserve Holocene dust. We studied soils developed on archaeological hilltop ruins in the Negev and the Petra region and compared them with local soils, paleosols, geological outcrops, and current dust. Seven statistically modeled grain size end-members were identified and demonstrate that the ruin soils in both regions consist of mixtures of local and remote sediment sources that differ from dust compositions deposited during current storms. This discrepancy is attributed to fixation processes connected with sediment-fixing agents such as vegetation, biocrusts, and/or clast pavements associated with vesicular layers. Average dust accretion rates in the ruins are estimated to be similar to 0.14 mm/a, suggesting that similar to 30% of the current dust that can be trapped with dry marble dust collectors has been stored in the ruin soils. Deposition amounts and grain sizes do not significantly correlate with wind intensity. However, precipitation may have contributed to dust accretion. A snowstorm in the Petra region delivered a significantly higher amount of sediment than rain or dry deposition. Snowfall dust had a unique particle size distribution relatively similar to the ruin soils. Wet deposition and snow might catalyze dust deposition and enhance fixation by fostering vegetation and crust formation. More frequent snowfall during the Pleistocene may have been an important mechanism of primary loess deposition in the southern Levant.
  • Lucke, Bernhard; Sandler, Amir; Vanselow, Kim André; Bruins, Hendrik J.; Abu-Jaber, Nizar; Baeumler, Rupert; Porat, Naomi; Kouki, Paula (2019)
    Archaeological structures are often filled with sediments and may serve as effective dust traps. The physical parameters and chemical composition of archaeological soils in hilltop ruins, ancient runoff-collecting terraces, and cleanout spoils of cisterns were determined in the Petra region in southern Jordan and the Northern Negev in Israel. Different types of ruins are characterized by certain soil structures, but could not be distinguished with regard to substrate composition. This reflects a predominance of aeolian processes for primary sedimentation, while fluvial processes seem to only re-distribute aeolian material. In the Petra region, the physical and chemical properties of all archaeological soils show a significant local contribution from associated weathered rocks. Compared to modern settled dust, archaeological soils in Southern Jordan are enriched with various major and trace elements associated with clays and oxide coatings of fine silt particles. This seems connected with preferential fixation of silt and clay by surface crusts, and a role of moisture in sedimentation processes as calcareous silt was found to be deposited in greater amounts when associated with precipitation. In contrast, the contribution of rocks is negligible in the Negev due to greater rock hardness and abundant biological crusts that seal surfaces. Archaeological soils in the Negev are chemically similar to current settled dust, which consists of complex mixtures of local and remote sources, including significant portions of recycled material from paleosols. Archaeological soils are archives of Holocene dust sources and aeolian sedimentation processes, with accretion rates exceeding those of Pleistocene hilltop loess in the Negev. Comparison with Pleistocene paleosols suggests that dust sources did not change significantly, but disappearance of snow could have reduced dust accumulation during the Holocene.
  • Huang, Yongjiang; Jacques, Frederic M. B.; Su, Tao; Ferguson, David K.; Tang, Hui; Chen, Wenyun; Zhou, Zhekun (2015)
    Cenozoic plant relicts are those groups that were once widespread in the Northern Hemisphere but are now restricted to some small isolated areas as a result of drastic climatic changes. They are good proxies to study how plants respond to climatic changes since their modern climatic requirements are known. Herein we look at the modern distribution of 65 palaeoendemic genera in China and compare it with the Chinese climatic pattern, in order to find a link between the plant distribution and climate. Central China and Taiwan Island are shown to be diversity centres of Cenozoic relict genera, consistent with the fact that these two regions have a shorter dry season with comparatively humid autumn and spring in China. Species distribution models indicate that the precipitation parameters are the most important variables to explain the distribution of relict genera. The Cenozoic wide-scale distribution of relict plants in the Northern Hemisphere is therefore considered to be linked to the widespread humid climate at that time, and the subsequent contraction of their distributional ranges was probably caused by the drying trend along with global cooling.
  • Naafs, B. D. A.; Inglis, G. N.; Zheng, Y.; Amesbury, M. J.; Biester, H.; Bindler, R.; Blewett, J.; Burrows, M. A.; del Castillo Torres, D.; Chambers, F. M.; Cohen, A. D.; Evershed, R. P.; Feakins, S. J.; Galka, M.; Gallego-Sala, A.; Gandois, L.; Gray, D. M.; Hatcher, P. G.; Honorio Coronado, E. N.; Hughes, P. D. M.; Huguet, A.; Kononen, M.; Laggoun-Defarge, F.; Lahteenoja, O.; Lamentowicz, M.; Marchant, R.; McClymont, E.; Pontevedra-Pombal, X.; Ponton, C.; Pourmand, A.; Rizzuti, A. M.; Rochefort, L.; Schellekens, J.; De Vleeschouwer, F.; Pancost, R. D. (2017)
    Glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) are membrane-spanning lipids from Bacteria and Archaea that are ubiquitous in a range of natural archives and especially abundant in peat. Previous work demonstrated that the distribution of bacterial branched GDGTs (brGDGTs) in mineral soils is correlated to environmental factors such as mean annual air temperature (MAAT) and soil pH. However, the influence of these parameters on brGDGT distributions in peat is largely unknown. Here we investigate the distribution of brGDGTs in 470 samples from 96 peatlands around the world with a broad mean annual air temperature (-8 to 27 degrees C) and pH (3-8) range and present the first peat-specific brGDGT-based temperature and pH calibrations. Our results demonstrate that the degree of cyclisation of brGDGTs in peat is positively correlated with pH, pH = 2.49 x CBTpeat + 8.07 (n = 51, R-2 = 0.58, RMSE = 0.8) and the degree of methylation of brGDGTs is positively correlated with MAAT, MAAT(peat) (degrees C) = 52.18 x MBT'(5me) - 23.05 (n = 96, R-2 = 0.76, RMSE = 4.7 degrees C). These peat-specific calibrations are distinct from the available mineral soil calibrations. In light of the error in the temperature calibration (similar to 4.7 degrees C), we urge caution in any application to reconstruct late Holocene climate variability, where the climatic signals are relatively small, and the duration of excursions could be brief. Instead, these proxies are well-suited to reconstruct large amplitude, longer-term shifts in climate such as deglacial transitions. Indeed, when applied to a peat deposit spanning the late glacial period (similar to 15.2 kyr), we demonstrate that MAAT(peat) yields absolute temperatures and relative temperature changes that are consistent with those from other proxies. In addition, the application of MAAT(peat) to fossil peat (i.e. lignites) has the potential to reconstruct terrestrial climate during the Cenozoic. We conclude that there is clear potential to use brGDGTs in peats and lignites to reconstruct past terrestrial climate. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Svensson, Jonas; Strom, Johan; Kivekas, Niku; Dkhar, Nathaniel B.; Tayal, Shresth; Sharma, Ved P.; Jutila, Arttu; Backman, John; Virkkula, Aki; Ruppel, Meri; Hyvarinen, Antti; Kontu, Anna; Hannula, Henna-Reetta; Lepparanta, Matti; Hooda, Rakesh K.; Korhola, Atte; Asmi, Eija; Lihavainen, Heikki (2018)
    Light-absorbing impurities (LAIs) deposited in snow have the potential to substantially affect the snow radiation budget, with subsequent implications for snow melt. To more accurately quantify the snow albedo, the contribution from different LAIs needs to be assessed. Here we estimate the main LAI components, elemental carbon (EC) (as a proxy for black carbon) and mineral dust in snow from the Indian Himalayas and paired the results with snow samples from Arctic Finland. The impurities are collected onto quartz filters and are analyzed thermal-optically for EC, as well as with an additional optical measurement to estimate the light-absorption of dust separately on the filters. Laboratory tests were conducted using substrates containing soot and mineral particles, especially prepared to test the experimental setup. Analyzed ambient snow samples show EC concentrations that are in the same range as presented by previous research, for each respective region. In terms of the mass absorption cross section (MAC) our ambient EC surprisingly had about half of the MAC value compared to our laboratory standard EC (chimney soot), suggesting a less light absorptive EC in the snow, which has consequences for the snow albedo reduction caused by EC. In the Himalayan samples, larger contributions by dust (in the range of 50% or greater for the light absorption caused by the LAI) highlighted the importance of dust acting as a light absorber in the snow. Moreover, EC concentrations in the Indian samples, acquired from a 120 cm deep snow pit (possibly covering the last five years of snow fall), suggest an increase in both EC and dust deposition. This work emphasizes the complexity in determining the snow albedo, showing that LAI concentrations alone might not be sufficient, but additional transient effects on the light-absorbing properties of the EC need to be considered and studied in the snow. Equally as imperative is the confirmation of the spatial and temporal representativeness of these data by comparing data from several and deeper pits explored at the same time.
  • Liang, Zhi-Qiang; Chen, Wei-Tao; Wang, Deng-Qiang; Zhang, Shu-Huan; Wang, Chong-Rui; He, Shun-Ping; Wu, Yuan-An; He, Ping; Xie, Jiang; Li, Chuan-Wu; Merilä, Juha; Wei, Qi-Wei (2019)
    Understanding genetic diversity patterns of endangered species is an important premise for biodiversity conservation. The critically endangered salamander Andrias davidianus, endemic to central and southern mainland in China, has suffered from sharp range and population size declines over the past three decades. However, the levels and patterns of genetic diversity of A. davidianus populations in wild remain poorly understood. Herein, we explore the levels and phylogeographic patterns of genetic diversity of wild-caught A. davidianus using larvae and adult collection with the aid of sequence variation in (a) the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) fragments (n = 320 individuals; 33 localities), (b) 19 whole mtDNA genomes, and (c) nuclear recombinase activating gene 2 (RAG2; n = 88 individuals; 19 localities). Phylogenetic analyses based on mtDNA datasets uncovered seven divergent mitochondrial clades (A-G), which likely originated in association with the uplifting of mountains during the Late Miocene, specific habitat requirements, barriers including mountains and drainages and lower dispersal ability. The distributions of clades were geographic partitioned and confined in neighboring regions. Furthermore, we discovered some mountains, rivers, and provinces harbored more than one clades. RAG2 analyses revealed no obvious geographic patterns among the five alleles detected. Our study depicts a relatively intact distribution map of A. davidianus clades in natural species range and provides important knowledge that can be used to improve monitoring programs and develop a conservation strategy for this critically endangered organism.
  • Guan, Yanlong; Lu, Hongwei; Yin, Chuang; Xue, Yuxuan; Jiang, Yelin; Kang, Yu; He, Li; Heiskanen, Janne (2020)
    Extensive research has focused on the response of vegetation to climate change, including potential mechanisms and resulting impacts. Although many studies have explored the relationship between vegetation and climate change in China, research on spatiotemporal distribution changes of climate regimes using natural vegetation as an indicator is still lacking. Further, limited information is available on the response of vegetation to shifts in China's regional climatic zones. In this study, we applied Mann-Kendall, and correlation analysis to examine the variabilities in temperature, precipitation, surface soil water, normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI), and albedo in China from 1982 to 2012. Our results indicate significant shifts in the distribution of Koppen-Geiger climate classes in China from 12.08% to 18.98% between 1983 and 2012 at a significance level of 0.05 (MK). The percentage areas in the arid and continental zones expanded at a rate of 0.004%/y and 0.12%/y, respectively, while the percentage area in the temperate and alpine zones decreased by -0.05%/y and - 0.07%/y. Sensitivity fitting results between simulated and observed changes identified temperature to be a dominant control on the dynamics of temperate (r(2)= 0.98) and alpine (r(2)= 0.968) zones, while precipitation was the dominant control on the changes of arid (r(2) = 0.856) and continental (r(2) = 0.815) zones. The response of the NDVI to albedo infers a more pronounced radiative response in temperate (r = -0.82, p