Late Holocene vegetation dynamics and monsoonal climatic changes in Jammu, India
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Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow – 226007, India
Online publication date: 2022-06-30
Publication date: 2022-06-30
Acta Palaeobotanica 2022; 62(1): 36–49
  • Pollen records of the Late Holocene ISM variability are presented from a lacustrine sedimentary deposit in Jammu District, India.
  • Warm and humid climate (increased monsoon precipitation) in alternation with cool and dry climate (decreased monsoon precipitation) was recorded since ~3205 cal yr BP.
  • Signature of the global MCA between CE/AD 740 and 1150, as well as DACP between CE/AD 400-765 were also recorded.
Knowledge of the Holocene Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) variability is important for understanding the spatio-temporal dynamics of the ISM precipitation. In this study, a Late Holocene pollen proxy record of the changes in the ISM intensity from a 1.8 m deep lacustrine sedimentary deposit in Jammu District (Jammu and Kashmir State) in India is presented. The results show that between ~3205 and 2485 cal yr BP, mixed broad-leaved/conifer forests occurred in the region under a warm and humid climate, probably indicating high monsoon precipitation. Subsequently, the conifers, such as Pinus sp., Cedrus sp., Abies sp., Picea sp. and Larix sp. increased comparatively and show dominance over the existing broad-leaved taxa between ~2485 and 1585 cal yr BP under a cool and dry climate with reduced monsoon precipitation. The climate further deteriorated (towards attaining aridity under reduced monsoon condition) during ~1585 to 865 cal yr BP, which coincides with the Dark Ages Cold Period (DACP: CE/AD 400–765; 1185–1550 cal yr BP). Since ~865 cal yr BP (CE/AD 1085 onwards) to Present, the broad-leaved taxa, such as Alnus sp., Betula sp., Ulmus sp., Carpinus sp., Corylus sp. and Quercus sp. started expanding and showed their dominance over the conifers, indicating a warm and humid climate in the region with increased monsoon precipitation. This phase partly corresponds with the Medieval Climatic Anomaly (MCA) between CE/AD 950 and 1300. Thus, the ISM rainfall intensity is linked with some of the global climatic trends in the present study.
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