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PLoS One. 2014 Jul 17;9(7):e102167. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102167. eCollection 2014.

Lake sediment records on climate change and human activities in the Xingyun Lake catchment, SW China.

Author information

  • 1Key Laboratory of the Plateau Surface Process and Environment Changes of Yunnan Province, Key Laboratory of Plateau Lake Ecology and Global Change, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming, China.
  • 2Key Laboratory of Humid Subtropical Eco-geographical Process, Ministry of education, Fuzhou, China.

Abstract

Sediments from Xinyun Lake in central Yunnan, southwest China, provide a record of environmental history since the Holocene. With the application of multi-proxy indicators (total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN), δ13C and δ15N isotopes, C/N ratio, grain size, magnetic susceptibility (MS) and CaCO3 content), as well as accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 14C datings, four major climatic stages during the Holocene have been identified in Xingyun's catchment. A marked increase in lacustrine palaeoproductivity occurred from 11.06 to 9.98 cal. ka BP, which likely resulted from an enhanced Asian southwest monsoon and warm-humid climate. Between 9.98 and 5.93 cal. ka BP, a gradually increased lake level might have reached the optimum water depth, causing a marked decline in coverage by aquatic plants and lake productivity of the lake. This was caused by strong Asian southwest monsoon, and coincided with the global Holocene Optimum. During the period of 5.60-1.35 cal. ka BP, it resulted in a warm and dry climate at this stage, which is comparable to the aridification of India during the mid- and late Holocene. The intensifying human activity and land-use in the lake catchment since the early Tang Dynasty (∼1.35 cal. ka BP) were associated with the ancient Dian culture within Xingyun's catchment. The extensive deforestation and development of agriculture in the lake catchment caused heavy soil loss. Our study clearly shows that long-term human activities and land-use change have strongly impacted the evolution of the lake environment and therefore modulated the sediment records of the regional climate in central Yunnan for more than one thousand years.

PMID:
25033404
PMCID:
PMC4102491
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0102167
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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