Articles | Volume 16, issue 6
Research article
23 Dec 2020
Research article |  | 23 Dec 2020

Pliocene expansion of C4 vegetation in the Core Monsoon Zone on the Indian Peninsula

Ann G. Dunlea, Liviu Giosan, and Yongsong Huang

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Cited articles

An, Z., Huang, Y., Liu, W., Guo, Z., Clemens, S., Li, L., Prell, W., Youfeng, N., Yanjun, C., Weijian, Z., Benhai, L., Qingle, Z., Yunning, C., Xiaoke, Q., Hong, C., and Zhenkun, W.: Multiple expansions of C4 plant biomass in East Asia since 7Ma coupled with strengthened monsoon circulation, Geology, 33, 705,, 2005. 
Andrae, J. W., McInerney, F. A., Polissar, P. J., Sniderman, J. M. K., Howard, S., Hall, P. A., and Phelps, S. R.: Initial Expansion of C4 Vegetation in Australia During the Late Pliocene, Geophys. Res. Lett., 45, 4831–4840,, 2018. 
Bartoli, G., Hönisch, B., and Zeebe, R. E.: Atmospheric CO2 decline during the Pliocene intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciations, Paleocean., 26, 253–14,, 2011. 
Behrensmeyer, A. K., Quade, J., Cerling, T. E., Kappelman, J., Khan, I. A., Copeland, P., Roe, L., Hicks, J., Stubblefield, P., Willis, B. J., and Latorre, C.: The structure and rate of late Miocene expansion of C-4 plants: Evidence from lateral variation in stable isotopes in paleosols of the Siwalik Group, northern Pakistan, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 119, 1486–1505,, 2007. 
Blaauw, M.: Methods and code for `classical' age-modeling of radiocarbon sequences, Quat. Geochron., 5, 512–518,, 2010. 
Short summary
Over the past 20 Myr, there has been a dramatic global increase in plants using C4 photosynthetic pathways. We analyze C and H isotopes in fatty acids of leaf waxes preserved in marine sediment from the Bay of Bengal to examine changes in photosynthesis in the Core Monsoon Zone of the Indian Peninsula over the past 6 Myr. The observed increase in C4 vegetation from 3.5 to 1.5 Ma is synchronous with C4 expansions in northwest Australia and East Africa, suggesting regional hydroclimate controls