Increased seasonality and aridity drove the C4 plant expansion in Central Asia since the Miocene-Pliocene boundary

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doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2018.08.056
Author(s): Shen Xingyan; Wan Shiming; Colin, Christophe; Tada, Ryuji; Shi Xuefa; Pei Wenqiang; Tan Yang; Jiang Xuejun; Li Anchun
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Qingdao, China
Université de Paris-Sud, France
University of Tokyo, Japan
Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, China
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, China
China Geological Survey, China
Volume Title: Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Source: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol.502, p.74-83. Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0012-821X CODEN: EPSLA2
Note: In English. Includes appendix. 62 refs.; illus., incl. sketch map
Summary: Continuous and high-resolution records of the content, mass accumulation rate (MAR) and δ13C values of black carbon obtained from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site U1430 in the southwestern Japan Sea have been established and combined with previous results obtained from Central Asia. The main objective of this work is to reconstruct the historical changes in vegetation types (C3-C4), and to constrain the driving force of C4 plant expansion over the last 13 Ma. The stable carbon isotope value of black carbon (δ13CBC) shows a major shift since the Miocene-Pliocene boundary (∼5.3 Ma), suggesting significant expansion of C4 plants in broad areas of Central Asia, including the inland basins of northwestern China and the Loess Plateau. However, a decline in the content and MAR of black carbon reveals the absence of any link between fire and C4 plant expansion in Central Asia, due to the dramatic decrease in biomass under a drying regime. On a global scale, asynchronous expansion of C4 plants suggests that regional hydroclimatic change, rather than decline in CO2 concentration, was the most important factor to influence C4 expansion. We propose that the increased seasonality and the enhanced long-term aridity driven by the concurrent decline in winter westerly vapor, and increase in East Asian summer monsoon precipitation, were the main driving forces of C4 plant expansion in broad areas of Central Asia. Variations in winter westerly moisture have played a significant role in changes of regional climate and vegetation in Central Asia since the late Miocene.
Year of Publication: 2018
Research Program: IODP Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Asia; Black carbon; C-13/C-12; Carbon; Cenozoic; Central Asia; EDS spectra; Electron microscopy data; Expedition 346; IODP Site U1430; Integrated Ocean Drilling Program; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Japan Sea; Lower Pliocene; Marine environment; Miocene; Neogene; North Pacific; Northwest Pacific; Pacific Ocean; Paleoclimatology; Paleocurrents; Plantae; Pliocene; Provenance; Reconstruction; SEM data; Seasonal variations; Spectra; Stable isotopes; Stratigraphic boundary; Tertiary; Ulleung Basin; Upper Miocene; Vegetation; West Pacific; X-ray spectra
Coordinates: N375409 N375410 E1313215 E1313215
Record ID: 2019020541
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from CAPCAS, Elsevier Scientific Publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands