Advertisement

The occurrence of a grassy vegetation over the Chinese Loess Plateau since the last interglacier: the molecular fossil record

  • Shucheng XieEmail author
  • Zhiyuan Wang
  • Hongmei Wang
  • Fahu Chen
  • Chengbang An
Article

Abstract

A series of allochthonous and autochthonous molecular fossils were identified from the Holocene paleosol (S0), Malan Loess and the top Lishi Loess (S1) in Jiuzhoutai loess profile in Lanzhou through the GC/MS analysis. The allochthonous molecules were transported into the Plateau by the loess grains whilst the autochthonous molecules were related to the input of the local paleo-vegetation and could be used to reconstruct the paleo-vegetation. The distribution of the autochthonous n-alkanes was discriminated from the overlapping allochthonous homologues characterized by the CPI value of unity. The dominance of autochthonous C31 n-alkane implicates the occurrence of a grassy vegetation over the Loess Plateau since the last interglacier. The warmest period of the Holocene, though dominated by grass, was additionally characterized by the relatively increased abundance of C27 n-alkane indicative of woody plants. The desert plants might occur during the last glacier. The molecular fossil record is not contradictory with the recent phytolith data, denying the occurrence of a forest over the Plateau since the last interglacier. These data from the loess molecular stratigraphy indicate the importance of the discrimination of the autochthonous molecules from the allochthonous compounds.

Keywords

molecular fossil n-alkane paleo-vegetation loess paleosol Lanzhou Quaternary 

References

  1. 1.
    Liu Dongsheng, Loess and Environment, Beijing: Science Press, 1985, 1–481.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    An Chisheng, Porter, S., Kukla, G. et al., The monsoon change over the Loess Plateau evidenced by the magnetic susceptibility since the last 130 ka, Chinese Science Bulletin, 1990, 35(5): 529–531.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Li Jijun, Zhu Junjie, Kang Jiancheng et al., The comparison of Lanzhou loess profile with Vostok ice core in Antarctica over the last glaciation cycle, Science in China, Ser. 1992, 35(4): 476–488.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lu Huayu, An Chisheng, Paleoclimatic significance of grain size of loess-paleosol deposit in Chinese Leoss Plateau, Science in China, Ser. D, 1998, 41(6): 626–631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chen Jun, An Chisheng, Wang Yongjin et al., Distribution of Rb and Sr in the Luochuan loess-paleosol sequence of China during the last 800 ka—Implication for paleomonsoon variations, Science in China, Ser. D, 1999, 42(2): 225–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lu Houyuan, Liu Dongsheng, Wu Naiqin et al., The vegetation replacement recorded by the phytolith data in the south of the Loess Plateau since the last interglacier, Quaternary Research (in Chinese), 1999, (4): 336–347.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Liu Dongsheng, The paleo-vegetation cover over the Loess Plateau—forest or grass, Earth Science Acta, 1994, (3/4): 226–234.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sun Xiangjun, Song Changqin, Wang Fengyu et al., The vegetation in the south of the Loess Plateau since the last 100 ka —Pollen record in Weinan loess profile in Shanxi, Chinese Science Bulletin, 1995, 40(13): 1222–1224.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lin Benhai, An Chisheng, Liu Rongmo, The monsoon change in the Loess Plateau since the last 600ka evidenced by the stable isotopes, in Loess Quaternary Geology Global Change (eds., Liu Dongsheng et al.) (in Chinese), Vol. 3, Beijing: Science Press, 1992, 51–54.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sun Jianzhong, Zhao Jingbo, Quaternary in the Loess Plateau, Beijing: Science Press, 1991,144–205.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Chen Chenghui, Lin Shaomeng, The pollen assemblage and its paleo-climate implication from a core in Xi’an, in Papers from the Third National Quaternary Meeting, Beijing: Science Press, 1982, 139–141.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chen Fahu, Zhang Weixin, The loess stratigraphy and the Quaternary glaciology in Gansu and Qinghai, Beijing: Science Press, 1993, 1–155.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lu Houyuan, Wu Naiqin, Liu Dongsheng et al., The phytolith assemblage and its implication for monsoon climate change from loess since the last 150ka, Science in China, Ser. D, 1996, 26(2): 131–136.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jia Rongfen, Lin Benhai, The biomarkers and its significance in the loess-paleosol sequences, in: Loess Quaternay Geology Global Change (eds., Liu Dongsheng et al.), Vol. 3, Beijing: Science Press, 1992, 79–83.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Duan Yi, Wen Qibin, Zheng Guodong et al., Carbon isotopic study of individual alcohol compounds in modern sediments from Nansha Islands sea area, China, Science in China, Ser. D, 1997, 40(5): 491–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Zhang Gan, Sheng Guoying, Fu Jiamo et al., The paleo-environment variation recorded by the organic molecules from 11.87–12.28 m in the core GS-1 in Gucheng Lake, Chinese Science Bulletin, 1999, 44(7): 775–779.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Xie, S., Nott, N. J., Avsejs, L. A. et al., Palaeoclimate records in compound-specific δD values of a lipid biomarker in ombrotrophic peat, Org. Geochem., 2000, 31: 1053–1057.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Xie Shucheng, Yao Tandong, Kang Shichang et al., Climatic and environmental implication from the organic matter in ice and snow in Xixiabangma in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Science in China, Ser. D, 1999, 42(4): 383–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chen Fahu, Wu Haibin, Zhang Jiawu et al., The winter monsoon variation in Lanzhou since the last interglacier, Quaternary Research, 1999, (4): 306–313.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chaffee, A. L., Johns, R. Aliphatic components of Victorian brown coal, Org. Geochem., 1985, 8: 349–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rieley, G., Collier, R. J., Jones, D. M. et al., Sources of sedimentary lipids deduced from stable carbon-isotope analyses of individual compounds, Nature, 1991, 352: 425–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Schneider, J. K., Gagosian, R. Cochran, J. K. et al., Particle size distribution ofn-alkanes and210Pb in aerosols off the coast of Peru, Nature, 1983, 304: 429–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Sicre, M. A., Marty, J. C., Saliot, A., Aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons in different sized aerosols over the Mediterranean Sea: occurrence and origin, Atmospheric Environment, 1987, 21: 2247–2259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Simoneit, B. R. T., Cardoso, J. N., Robinson, N., An assessment of terrestrial higher molecular weight lipid compounds in aerosol particulate matter over the south Atlantic from about 30–70 S, Chemosphere, 1991, 23: 447–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Meyers, P. A., Ishiwatari, R., Lacustrine organic geochemistry: an overview of indicators of organic matter sources and diagenesis in lake sediments, Org. Geochem., 1993, 20: 867–900.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Xie Shucheng, Evershed, R. P., Peat molecular fossils recording the climatic change and vegetation variation, Chinese Science Bulletin, 2001, 46(10): 863–866.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Cranwell, P. A., Chain-length distribution ofn-alkanes from lake sediments in relation to post-glacial environmental change, Freshwater Biol., 1973, 3: 259–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Cranwell, P. A., Eglinton, G., Robinson, N., Lipids of aquatic organisms as potential contributors to lacustrine sediments, Org. Geochem., 1987, 11: 513–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Rieley, G., Collier, R. J., Jones, D. M. et al., The biogeochemistry of Ellesmere Lake, UK-I. Source correlation of leaf wax inputs to the sedimentary lipid record, Org. Geochem., 1991, 17: 901–912.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Farrimond, P., Flanagan, R. L., Lipid stratigraphy of a Flandrian peat bed (Northumberland, UK): comparison with the pollen record, The Holocene, 1995, 6: 69–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ficken, K. J., Barber, K. E., Eglinton, G., Lipid biomarker, δ13C and plant macrofossil stratigraphy of a Scottish montane peat bog over the last two millennia, Org. Geochem., 1998, 28:217–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shucheng Xie
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhiyuan Wang
    • 1
  • Hongmei Wang
    • 1
  • Fahu Chen
    • 2
  • Chengbang An
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Earth ScienceChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of GeographyLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina

Personalised recommendations