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Neoglacial trends in diatom dynamics from a small alpine lake in the Qinling mountains of central China

Cheng, B; Adams, J; Chen, J; Zhou, A; Zhang, Q; Mackay, AW; (2020) Neoglacial trends in diatom dynamics from a small alpine lake in the Qinling mountains of central China. Climate Of The Past , 16 (2) pp. 543-554. 10.5194/cp-16-543-2020. Green open access

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Abstract

During the latter stages of the Holocene, and prior to anthropogenic global warming, the Earth underwent a period of cooling called the neoglacial. The neoglacial is associated with declining summer insolation and changes to Earth's surface albedo. Although impacts varied globally, in China the neoglacial was generally associated with a cooler climate and an attenuated Asian summer monsoon. Few studies in central China, however, have explored the impact of neoglacial cooling on freshwater diversity, especially in alpine regions. Here we take a palaeolimnological approach to characterise multi-decadal variability in diatom community composition, ecological guilds, and compositional turnover over the past 3500 years from the alpine Yuhuang Chi lake on Mount Taibai in the Qinling mountains. Diatoms in the high-profile guild dominate much of the record from 3500 to 615 cal BP, which suggests that few nutrients in the lake were limiting overall, and disturbance and herbivory were likely low. After 615 cal BP, low-profile and planktic guild diatoms increase, suggesting greater turbulence in the lake, alongside a decline in available nutrients. Diatom turnover highlights periods in the lake history when deterministic processes structured diatom communities. For example, an abrupt decline in turnover is coincident with the shift from high- to low-profile diatoms at 615 cal BP, and this is likely due to the onset of the Little Ice Age in the region. We suggest that Yuhuang Chi lake became more shallow during peak regional aridity, which led to the short-lived community restructuring observed in the record.

Type: Article
Title: Neoglacial trends in diatom dynamics from a small alpine lake in the Qinling mountains of central China
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5194/cp-16-543-2020
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-16-543-2020
Language: English
Additional information: © Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095757
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