Direct versus indirect climate controls on Holocene diatom assemblages in a sub-tropical deep, alpine lake (Lugu Hu, Yunnan, SW China)

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  • Qian Wang, State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  • Xiangdong Yang, State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  • Nicholas John Anderson, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, UK, United Kingdom
  • Xuhui Dong, State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Abstract The reconstruction of Holocene environmental changes in lakes on the plateau region of southwest China provides an understanding of how these ecosystems may respond to climate change. Fossil diatom assemblages were investigated from an 11,000-year lake sediment core from a deep, alpine lake (Lugu Hu) in southwest China, an area strongly influenced by the southwest (or the Indian) summer monsoon. Changes in diatom assemblage composition, notably the abundance of the two dominant planktonic species, Cyclotella rhomboideo-elliptica and Cyclostephanos dubius, reflect the effects of climate variability on nutrient dynamics, mediated via thermal stratification (internal nutrient cycling) and catchment-vegetation processes. Statistical analyses of the climate–diatom interactions highlight the strong effect of changing orbitally-induced solar radiation during the Holocene, presumably via its effect on the lake's thermal budget. In a partial redundancy analysis, climate (solar insolation) and proxies reflecting catchment process (pollen percentages, C/N ratio) were the most important drivers of diatom ecological change, showing the strong effects of climate–catchment–vegetation interactions on lake functioning. This diatom record reflects long-term ontogeny of the lake-catchment ecosystem and suggests that climatic changes (both temperature and precipitation) impact lake ecology indirectly through shifts in thermal stratification and catchment nutrient exports.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume86
Issue1
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
ISSN0033-5894
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Holocene diatoms, Nutrient dynamics, Thermal stability, Catchment process, Climatic change

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