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《Geographical Research》 2013-05
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Environmental evolution of Wanghu Lake in the middle Yangtze River and its responses to human activities

SHI Xiaoli 1,2,QIN Boqiang 3(1.Coastal Resources and Environment Research Center,Ningbo University,Ningbo 315211,Zhejiang,China;2.Editorial Department of Journal of Ningbo University,Ningbo 315211,Zhejiang,China;3.Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology,CAS,Nanjing 210008,China)  
The environmental evolution and human activities in the catchment of Wanghu Lake in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River was investigated by analyzing a 72 cm sediment core obtained in the centre of the lake.Dating sequence of the core was established based on radioisotopes 137Cs and 210Pb.The proxies of the core sediments,such as grain-size,magnetic parameters,heavy metal,pollens,total organic carbon(TOC),total nitrogen(TN),and total phosphorus(TP),were tested.The features of sediment vertical distribution in the core were compared with the records from historical social development documents of the surrounding areas,including population size,total industrial and agricultural output value.The results show that since 1878,the Wanghu Lake environment has evolved in three stages.(1) Before the 1950s,both TOC and TN concentrations were low and stable,which indicates that the TOC and TN of sediment were mainly from the natural soil nutrient cycling in surroundings.The lake environment continued the process of natural evolution,and basically maintained the original eco-environment.(2) From 1950 to 1970,traces of human activities were evidently found in the natural sediments of the lake.During the period,the average grain-size of the sediments became larger,and TOC and TN concentrations increased substantially.High value of TP concentrations is observed,and pollen concentration increased as well.(3) After 1970,the lake was disconnected from the river,so it was transformed from an open lake to a closed one.The evolution of the lake environment was then dominated by human activities which has been reflected in the indicators of the sediments: the average grain-size of the sediments increased continuously;TOC and TN concentrations increased substantially;shrub and herb pollen concentrations in the pollen combination mutated and increased;and the proportion of Myriophyllum and Pediastrum,which indicate the level of lake nutrients,increased significantly.These sediment proxies are compared with the population change,the industrial and agricultural outputs in the Yangxin County since 1949.The results show that the correlations between TOC,TN concentration and the population change are high,with the correlation coefficient of 0.8892 and 0.8928 respectively(P0.001).The sequence of heavy metal enrichment,nutrient enrichment and pollen changes were well coupled with the development of the mining industry,the scales of farmland,the amount fertilizer available,and population size.These results reveal that the environment proxies of Wanghu Lake were very sensitive in indicating human impacts on the related catchment.
【Fund】: 国家杰出青年科学基金项目(40825004);; 国家自然科学基金项目(41171073);; 宁波大学人才基金项目
【CateGory Index】: P343.3
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