Advances in Earth Science ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (6): 631-643. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2023.025

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Characteristics and Influencing Factors of Airborne Pollen Assemblage in Eastern Hexi Corridor from 2019 to 2022

Xiaoyu LAN 1 , 2 , 3( ), Dong YANG 1 , 2( ), Yunfa MIAO 3 , 4, Yongtao ZHAO 3, Yan LEI 3 , 4, Zheng WAN 5   

  1. 1.College of Geography and Enviromental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    2.Key Laboratory of Resource Environment and Sustainable Development of Oasis, Gansu Province, Lanzhou 730070, China
    3.Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Northwest Institute of Ecology and Environmental Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
    4.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    5.College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2023-02-01 Revised:2023-04-07 Online:2023-06-10 Published:2023-06-07
  • Contact: Dong YANG;
  • About author:LAN Xiaoyu (1996-), female, Jinzhong City, Shanxi Province, Master student. Research area includes modern process of pollen. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China “Microstructures and Paleoenvironmental evolution of important groups of jurassic gymnosperms in Yaojie, Gansu Province”(41972020);“The vegetation history and quantitative precipitation reconstruction from the Last Glacial Maximum to mid Holocene (~30-4 ka BP) based on lacustrine pollen data in eastern Xinjiang”(42271176);“Pliocene precipitation variability and environmental impact across mid-latitude Asia”(42161144012)

Xiaoyu LAN, Dong YANG, Yunfa MIAO, Yongtao ZHAO, Yan LEI, Zheng WAN. Characteristics and Influencing Factors of Airborne Pollen Assemblage in Eastern Hexi Corridor from 2019 to 2022[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2023, 38(6): 631-643.

Studies of aerospore dispersal and deposition processes can contribute to the understanding of modern vegetation composition and its relationship with climate change. However, studies on aerospore dispersal in arid regions are still very limited. Using a self-designed spore pollen collection device, a study was conducted in the Gulang area located in the northern side of the Qilian Mountains in the eastern part of the Hexi Corridor for three consecutive years (July 2019 to June 2022) on a monthly time scale. The aims were to analyze the characteristics of spore pollen percentage composition of herbaceous and woody plants during the flowering and non-flowering periods, and to explore the representativeness of major pollens. The basic characteristics of spore pollen concentration changes and their relationship with typical. At the same time, the basic characteristics of sporulation concentration and its relationship with typical meteorological elements (temperature, precipitation, wind speed and wind direction) were examined. Four main results were obtained. First, the air pollen assemblage at the study site was mainly herbaceous, with high values occurring from July to October (93.7%) and low values from April to June (62.9%). The corresponding high values of woody plant pollen occurred from April to June (37.1%) and low values from July to October (6.3%). The pollen concentrations of herbaceous and woody plants corresponded well with their respective flowering periods. The flowering period and high concentrations of herbaceous plants occurred from July to October, while woody plants mainly occurred from April to June. The herbaceous plant concentration had the greatest influence on the total concentration. Second, the spore pollen combinations corresponded well with the local vegetation, poplar (Populus), and cypress (Cupressaceae) pollen. The pollen of Populus and Cupressaceae can better reflect the characteristics of local vegetation, while the pollen of Poaceae has low representativeness and the pollen of Artemisia, Amaranthaceae, Betula and Picea has super representativeness. Third, since woody plants are mainly distributed in the southeast, the wind direction during the flowering period from April to June affects the pollen content of woody plants, and the wind speed during the non-flowering period (November to March) is in the interval of 1.48~1.75 m/s which is most favorable for pollen dispersal. Too little wind speed has poor wind carrying capacity, and too much wind speed negatively affects the dispersal and collection of spore pollen. A positive correlation between precipitation and pollen production was evident. In other words, the higher the precipitation at the time of flowering, the higher the pollen concentration. The above findings can provide an important reference basis for interpreting the use of pollen to study the relationship between spore pollen records and climate and environmental changes at different time scales in the Hexi Corridor, as well as for the ecological protection in the Hexi Corridor region in terms of spore pollen ecology.

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