Holding particular biological resources, the Tibetan Plateau is a unique geologic-geographic-biotic interactively unite and hence play an important role in the global biodiversity domain. The Tibetan Plateau has undergone vigorous environmental changes since the Cenozoic, and played roles switching from “a paradise of tropical animals and plants” to “the cradle of Ice Age mammalian fauna”. Recent significant paleontological discoveries have refined a big picture of the evolutionary history of biodiversity on that plateau against the backdrop of major environmental changes, and paved the way for the assessment of its far-reaching impact upon the biota around the plateau and even in more remote regions. Here, based on the newly reported fossils from the Tibetan Plateau which include diverse animals and plants, we present a general review of the changing biodiversity on the Tibetan Plateau and its influence in a global scale. We define the Tibetan Plateau as a junction station of the history of modern biodiversity, whose performance can be categorized in the following three patterns: (1) Local origination of endemism; (2) Local origination and “Out of Tibet”; (3) Intercontinental dispersal via Tibet. The first pattern is exemplified by the snow carps, the major component of the freshwater fish fauna on the plateau, whose temporal distribution pattern of the fossil schizothoracines approximately mirrors the spatial distribution pattern of their living counterparts. Through ascent with modification, their history reflects the biological responses to the stepwise uplift of the Tibetan Plateau. The second pattern is represented by the dispersal history of some mammals since the Pliocene and some plants. The ancestors of some Ice Age mammals, e.g., the wholly rhino, Arctic fox, and argali sheep first originated and evolved in the uplifted and frozen Tibet during the liocene, and then migrated toward the Arctic regions or even the North American continent at beginning of the Ice Age; the ancestor of pantherines (big cats) first rose in Tibetan Plateau during the Pliocene, followed by the disperse of its descendants to other parts of Asia, Africa, North and South America to play as top predators of the local ecosystems. The early members of some plants, e.g., Elaeagnaceae appeared in Tibet during the Late Eocene and then dispersed and were widely distributed to other regions. The last pattern is typified by the history of the tree of heaven (Ailanthus) and climbing perch. Ailanthus originated in the Indian subcontinent, then colonized into Tibet after the Indian-Asian plate collision, and dispersed therefrom to East Asia, Europe and even North America. The climbing perches among freshwater fishes probably rose in Southeast Asia during the Middle Eocene, dispersed to Tibet and then migrated into Africa via the docked India. These cases highlight the role of Tibet, which was involved in the continental collision, in the ntercontinental biotic interchanges. The three evolutionary patterns
As one of the most complete archaic human fossils, the Harbin cranium provides critical evidence for studying the diversification of the Homo genus and the origin of Homo sapiens. However, the unsystematic recovery of this cranium and a long and confused history since the discovery impede its accurate dating. Here, we carried out a series of geochemical analyses, including non-destructive X-ray fluorescence (XRF), rare earth elements (REE), and the Sr isotopes, to test the reported provenance of the Harbin cranium and get better stratigraphic constraints. The results show that the Harbin cranium has very similar XRF element distribution patterns, REE concentration patterns, and Sr isotopic compositions to those of the Middle Pleistocene-Holocene mammalian and human fossils recently recovered from the Harbin area. The sediments adhered in the nasal cavity of the Harbin cranium have a 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.711898, falling in the variation range measured in a core drilled near the Dongjiang Bridge, where the cranium was discovered during its reconstruction. The regional stratigraphic correlations indicate that the Harbin cranium was probably from the upper part of the Upper Huangshan Formation of the Harbin area, which has an optically stimulated luminescence dating constraint between 138 and 309 ka. U-series disequilibrium dating (n = 10) directly on the cranium suggests that the cranium is older than 146 ka. The multiple lines of evidence from our experiments consistently support the theory that the Harbin cranium is from the late Middle Pleistocene of the Harbin area. Our study also shows that geochemical approaches can provide reliable evidence for locating and dating unsystematically recovered human fossils, and potentially can be applied to other human fossils without clear provenance and stratigraphy records.
More than 100,000 years ago, several human species coexisted in Asia, Europe, and Africa - A completely preserved fossil human cranium discovered in the Harbin area provides critical evidence for understanding the evolution of humans and the origin of our species - The Harbin cranium has a large cranial capacity (1,420 mL) falling in the range ofmodern humans, but is combined with a mosaic of primitive and derived characters - Our comprehensive phylogenetic analyses suggest that the Harbin cranium represents a new sister lineage for Homo sapiens - A multi-directional “shuttle dispersal model” is more likely to explain the complex phylogenetic connections among African and Eurasian Homo species/populations
1) Data content: the data are the ancient DNA data generated by studying the cultural layer of Klu lding site in Nyingchi region, Tibetan Plateau, including the hiseqx metagenomics data of 10 ancient DNA samples from 4 layers. It can be used to preliminarily analyze the changes of species composition recorded by ancient DNA in the sediments, and reveal the process of local agricultural development. 2) Data source and processing method: the research group has its ownership. the data were obtained by using pair-end library building and Illumina hiseqx sequencing platform. 3) Data quality: 20.3 MB, Q30 > 85%. 4) Application: The data will be used to explore the potential of the ancient DNA from archaeological sediments in revealing the development of ancient agriculture on the Tibetan Plateau.
XRF data can quickly, nondestructive and high-resolution obtain the relative abundance of constant and trace geochemistry, which can be used to reconstruct the environmental change. This data includes the XRF multi-element data of Daze Co and Jiang Co and the age depth data of Lake cores, which can be used to reconstruct the climate and environmental changes in the East and west of the Qinghai Tibet Plateau in the past 20000 years. In Daze Co and Jiang Co lakes, Ti, K, Fe, Si and other elements show the same change trend. Through multi index comparative analysis, it is considered that Ti and other rock forming elements are mainly affected by the inner diameter flow conditions of the basin and can be used to reconstruct the changes of hydrological conditions in the basin in recent 20000 years.
1) The data include the temperature records reconstructed by using the core depth, age and biomarker gdgts of Bangong Lake to reconstruct the annual average temperature change of Bangong Lake Basin in the west of Qinghai Tibet Plateau since the last deglaciation. At present, most paleoclimate records on the plateau are qualitative and semi quantitative, and the quantitative records are very limited, which restricts the in-depth understanding of the mechanism of climate change on the plateau. Bangongcuo, the largest lake in the west of Qinghai Tibet Plateau, was selected as the study area, and the average annual temperature change in this area since 16 ka BP was reconstructed by using biomarker indexes. 2) The record was reconstructed using gdgts of lake sediments. 3) The data are detailed and reliable. 4) This study not only provides data for understanding the past climate change in the western Qinghai Tibet Plateau, but also provides a basis for discussing the plateau climate change mechanism and verifying the reliability of regional climate model.
The water vapor isotopes transported by different atmospheric circulation systems are different, and the precipitation on the Qinghai Tibet Plateau is affected by monsoon and westerly circulation, which is very sensitive to climate and environmental change. Hydrogen isotopes of wax in lake sediments provide a means to restore past precipitation information. The stable hydrogen isotope records of sediments from different lakes (Qinghai Lake, linggecuo lake and Bangong Lake) in the East and west of the Qinghai Tibet Plateau provided by the author reconstruct the isotopic changes of precipitation in the East and west of the Qinghai Tibet Plateau in the past 20000 years, and study the effects of summer monsoon and westerly jet on water vapor in the Qinghai Tibet Plateau since the late Pleistocene, It also provides important basic data for reconstructing the paleoclimate and environmental changes of the Qinghai Tibet Plateau in the past.