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Holocene peatland development along the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau
author: source: Time:2013-10-18 font< big medium small >

Knowledge of peatland initiation, accumulation, and decline or cessation is critical in understanding peatland development and the related carbon source/sink effect. In this study, we investigated the development of three peat profiles along the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau (ETP) and compared the results with those of our previous work along this transect. Our work showed that the initiation over the northern ETP is later and the slowdown/cessation earlier than in the middle to southern ETP. The timing of optimum peatland formation over the northern ETP lags the Holocene climatic optimum. These spatio-temporal differences are likely to be related to the intensity of Asian summer monsoon. Our work suggests that some peatlands along the ETP transect have returned or are now returning their previously captured carbon to the atmosphere and thus act as carbon sources. Some peatlands still have net accumulation at present, but the rates have been reduced concomitant with the decreasing summer monsoon intensity. We speculate that more of the previously stored carbon in the ETP peatlands will be re-emitted to the atmosphere if the aridity continues, as might occur under a continuous global-warming scenario.

Xu, H; Liu, B; Lan, JH; Sheng, EG; Che, S; Xu, S. Holocene peatland development along the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. QUATERNARY RESEARCH .  80(1): 47-54.

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