J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2006, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (9): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2006.00274.x

• Research Articles •    

Vegetation and Environment History for the Past 14 000 yr BP from Dingnan, Jiangxi Province, South China

John Richard Dodson, Shirene Hickson, Rachel Khoo, Xiao-Qiang Li,Jemina Toia and Wei-Jian Zhou   

Abstract: A Late Pleistocene-Holocene pollen, phosphorus, and charcoal record was reconstructed from a peatland in southern Jiangxi Province in southern China. The area today has a mountainous and rolling landscape with villages, small towns, and agriculture dominated by rice paddies, vegetable, and fruit gardens, as well as areas of secondary forest and pine re-afforestation. The record opens before 14 300 yr BP, with Alnus woodland dominating the wetland areas and with an open Quercus woodland on the surrounding slopes. The forest area becomes more complex from approximately 12 800 yr BP and further from 9 000 yr BP. At approximately 6 000 yr BP, there is evidence of clearing and, by 4 500–4 000 yr BP, a complete collapse in the wetland Alnus and terrestrial forest as the low-lying areas are converted to rice production. For much of the record, the occurrence of fire around the site was low, although there is evidence of regional fires. Fire was used as a tool in clearing and then used in the annual cycles of stubble burning after rice harvest. Nutrient levels, as reflected by total phosphorus in the sediment, seem to be closely related to forest changes and high values in the surface layers probably result from land-management techniques associated with agriculture. Therefore, human impact greatly altered forest cover, fire frequency, and nutrient dynamics; this has been evident for approximately 6 000 yr BP and then intensifies towards the present day.(*Author for correspondence. Tel: +86 (0)29 8832 4671; Fax: +86 (0)29 8832 0456; E-mail:lxq@loess.llqg.ac.cn)

Key words: development of rice agriculture, nutrient and fire history, South China, vegetation history.

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