Authors: SANPING XIE, SUN BAINIAN, JINYU WU, ZHICHENG LIN, DEFEI YAN, LIANG XIAO
Abstract: Based on leaf physiognomy of the Late Pliocene Tuantian megaflora from the Mangbang Formation of Tengchong County in western Yunnan, a quantitative reconstruction of palaeoclimate was performed with Leaf Margin Analysis (LMA) methodology and the Climate-Leaf Analysis Multivariate Program (CLAMP). The latter produced the following parameters: mean annual temperature (MAT) from 17.2 to 17.7°C; warmest month mean temperature (WMMT) from 25 to 25.5°C; coldest month mean temperature (CMMT) from 9.5 to 10.8°C; length of growing season (GRS) from 9.5 to 9.7 months; growing season precipitation (GSP) from 1834.3 to 1901.2 mm; mean monthly growing season precipitation (MMGSP) from 222.4 to 230.5 mm; precipitation during the three consecutive wettest months (3-WET) from 892.1 to 917.8 mm; precipitation during the three consecutive driest months (3-DRY) from 474.5 to 512.8 mm; relative humidity (RH) from 76.7 to 77.8%; specific humidity (SH) from 10.7 to 10.8 g/kg; and enthalpy (ENTHAL) from 31.8 to 32 kj/kg. However, the MAT obtained from the Chinese LMA regression at 18.7°C, is slightly higher than that from CLAMP. The integrated analysis of these data and three adjacent pollen floras in western Yunnan suggests that the Gaoligong Mountains (a southern portion of the Hengduan Mountains) were only raised to modest altitudes in the Late Pliocene.
Keywords: Hengduan Mountains, leaf physiognomy, monsoon, palaeoclimate, Pliocene, western Yunnan
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