Aw6.35 m core (06SD) was retrieved from Lake Shudu, Yunnan Province, China. The sediments spanning<br/>the period w22.6e10.5 kcal. yr BP (6.35e1.44 m) were analysed using a combination of variables<br/>including pollen, charcoal, particle size, magnetic susceptibility and loss-on-ignition. The resulting<br/>palaeorecord provides a high-resolution reconstruction of Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene climatic<br/>and environmental changes in southwestern China. Our findings indicate that from c. 22.6 to 17.7 kcal. yr<br/>BP, vegetation assemblages were primarily aligned to sparse xerophytic grassland/tundra or cold-tolerant<br/>boreal Pinus forest, indicating that climatic conditions in southwestern China were cold and dry.<br/>However, from c. 17.7 to 17.4 kcal. yr BP, the Lake Shudu record is punctuated by marked environmental<br/>changes. These include the establishment of denser vegetation cover, a marked expansion of boreal Pinus<br/>forest and enhanced hydrological activity in the catchment over centennial timescales, perhaps suggesting<br/>that stepwise variations in the Asian Monsoon were triggering fundamental environmental<br/>changes over sub-millennial timescales. Thereafter, the pollen record captures a period of environmental<br/>instability reflected in fluctuations across all of the variables, which persists until c. 17.1 kcal. yr BP. After<br/>c. 17.1 kcal. yr BP, the expansion of steppe vegetation cover and coldecool mixed forest consisting of<br/>mesophilous vegetation such as Tsuga and Picea, thermophilous trees including Ulmus and deciduous<br/>Quercus inferred from the Lake Shudu pollen record point to the establishment of warmer, wetter and<br/>perhaps more seasonal conditions associated with a strengthening Asian Summer Monsoon during the<br/>shift from Pleistocene to Holocene climatic conditions
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