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Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene Vegetational and Climatic Changes in Yunnan Province, Southwest China

D. Walker
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 13, No. 5 (Sep., 1986), pp. 477-486
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2844968
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2844968
Page Count: 10
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Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene Vegetational and Climatic Changes in Yunnan Province, Southwest China
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Abstract

Previously published palynological and stratigraphic data from three sites in Yunnan Province are used to reconstruct somwe aspects of the climate of the region at about the last glacial maximum and the early Holocene. The occurrence of Dacrycarpus and Dacrydium at Menghai, most probably about 36,000-20,000 BP. suggests wetter winters and annual mean temoperatures only marginally lower than today's. At Er Yuan the mean annual temperature was not more than 4⚬ C lower than today at 17,000 BP, at Kunming not more than 2.5⚬ C lower than today at 16,000 BP and at both sites modern values were approached by 10,000 BP. At Kunming, there is evidence of substantially greater rainfall before 10,000 BP. These results do not require a major change in the monsoonal climatic system. Together with glacial geological data they suggest wetter winters than today immediately outside the southern boundary of the polar front in southwest China resulting from stronger and more frequent frontal disturbances. Some comparisons are made with other sites in south Asia and across the equator.

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