Research ArticleGEOLOGY

Orographic evolution of northern Tibet shaped vegetation and plant diversity in eastern Asia

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Science Advances  27 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 5, eabc7741
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc7741
  • Fig. 1 Modern major tectonic terranes and features of the Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau regions and Asian climate system.

    From north to south Tibet comprises the Qilian, Kunlun-Qaidam, Songpan-Ganzi, Qiangtang, and Lhasa terranes (including the Gangdese Mountains) separated by suture zones, with the Himalaya to the south. The Asian climate system encompasses the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM), Indian summer monsoon (ISM), Asian winter monsoon (AWM), and westerlies.

  • Fig. 2 Four different Tibetan topographic conditions, simulated vegetation and plant diversity.

    Paleotopographies (data S2) are shown in (A1) to (A4). (B1) to (B4) show simulated vegetation results from the SDGVM. (C1) to (C4) show simulated plant diversity results from the JeDi-DGVM. The white dashed boxes indicate the East Asia region (100°E to 120°E, 20°N to 35°N) discussed in the main text. The brown arc in A1 represents the Gangdese Mountains, which existed before the rise of the Himalaya (21). See Supplementary Text for more details for the selection of four simulations.

  • Fig. 3 Simulated precipitation results from selected four experiments with different Tibetan Plateau topographies.

    Panels (A1) to (A4), (B1) to (B4), and (C1) to (C4) show driest season (DJF), wettest season (JJA) precipitation, and monsoon seasonality index (see Materials and Methods for the definition) for different experiments, respectively. The yellow color dashed boxes indicate the East Asia region (100°E to 120°E, 20°N to 35°N) discussed in the main text. See Supplementary Text for more details for the selection of four simulations.

  • Fig. 4 Simplified Tibet uplift stages, climate, and vegetation changes from the Paleogene to Neogene.

    (A and B) When the Gangdese Mountains and Lhasa Terrane uplifted, respectively, the strong Asian winter monsoon caused dry climate, producing deciduous broadleaf forest and shrub in eastern Asia. (C) When the Qiangtang and Songpan-Ganzi terranes uplifted, the weak Asian winter monsoon and invaded southeasterly winds enhanced winter precipitations, resulting in evergreen broadleaf forest in southeastern Asia. The topographies of (A) to (C) are modified from Fig. 2 (A1, A2, and A4, respectively).

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Orographic evolution of northern Tibet shaped vegetation and plant diversity in eastern Asia

    Shu-Feng Li, Paul J. Valdes, Alex Farnsworth, T. Davies-Barnard, Tao Su, Daniel J. Lunt, Robert A. Spicer, Jia Liu, Wei-Yu-Dong Deng, Jian Huang, He Tang, Andy Ridgwell, Lin-Lin Chen, Zhe-Kun Zhou

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    The PDF file includes:

    • Supplementary Text
    • Figs. S1 to S12
    • Legends for data S1 and S2
    • References

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