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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-20
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-20
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  27 Feb 2020

27 Feb 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Holocene vegetation dynamics in response to climate change and hydrological processes in the Bohai region

Chen Jinxia1,2, Shi Xuefa1,2, Liu Yanguang1,2, Qiao Shuqing1,2, Yang Shixiong3,4, Yan Shijuan1,2, Lv Huahua1,2, Li Xiaoyan1,2, and Li Chaoxin1,2 Chen Jinxia et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Marine Sedimentology and Environmental Geology, First Institute of Oceanography, SOA, Qingdao 266061, China
  • 2Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266061, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Coastal Wetland Biogeosciences, China Geologic Survey, Qingdao 266071, Shandong, China
  • 4Laboratory for Marine Geology,Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, 266061, China

Abstract. Coastal vegetation not only mitigates the damage inflicted by marine disasters on coastal area, but also plays an important role in the global carbon cycle (i.e. blue carbon). Nevertheless, detailed records of both long-term changes in coastal vegetation composition and diversity, coupled with climate change and river evolution, remain sparse. To explore vegetation dynamics and their influencing factors on the coastal area of the Bohai Sea (BS) during the Holocene, in this study, we present high-resolution pollen and grain size data obtained from a sediment core of the BS. The results reveal that two rapid and abrupt changes in salt marsh vegetation are linked with the river-system changes. Within each event, a recurring pattern – starting with a decline in Cyperaceae, followed by an increase in Artemisia and Chenopodiaceae – suggests a successional process that is determined by the close relationship between Yellow River (YR) channel shifts and the wetland community dynamics. The phreatophyte Cyperaceae at the base of each sequence indicate lower saline conditions. Unchannelized river flow characterized the onset of the YR channel shift, caused a huge river-derived sediment accumulation in the floodplain, and destroyed the sedges in the coastal depression. Along with the formation of a new channel, lateral migration of the lower channel stopped, and a new intertidal mudflat was formed. Pioneer species (Chenopodiaceae, Artemisia) were the first to colonize the bare zones of the lower and middle marsh areas. In addition, the pollen results revealed that the vegetation in the Shandong Peninsula was dominated by broadleaved trees during the early Holocene (8500–6500 a BP) and by conifers and broadleaved forests in the middle Holocene (6500–3500 a BP), which was followed by an expansion of broadleaved trees (3500–1000 a BP). After 1000 a BP, human impacts are recognized as a sudden decrease in Quercus and a marked increase in secondary vegetation Pinus. The pollen-based temperature index indicated that a warmer early and late Holocene and colder middle Holocene were consistent with previously reported temperature records for North and Northwest China. The main driving factors of temperature variation in this region are insolation, greenhouse gases and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

Chen Jinxia et al.

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Chen Jinxia et al.

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Short summary
In this study, we present pollen and grain size data obtained from the Bohai Sea. The results reveal that soil development and salinity gradients are the main factors determining the vegetation dynamics of coastal wetland. Moreover, our pollen-based temperature index revealed a warm early Holocene, a cool mid-Holocene, and then a relatively warm late Holocene. The main driving factors of temperature variation in this region are insolation, greenhouse gases and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation.
In this study, we present pollen and grain size data obtained from the Bohai Sea. The results...
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