To our knowledge, the Qilian Mountains in NW China have been investigated with respect to Recent or sub-Recent ostracods for the first time. The Qilian Mountains (95–103°E/37–40°N) extend along the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau reaching a maximum altitude of 5826 m above sea-level (m asl).
In September 2001, surface mud from the bottom of various water bodies including brooks, rivers and small shallow meadow and oxbow pools were sampled at an altitude ranging from 2900 m to 3570 m asl. In addition, surface mud samples and short cores were obtained from the small (c. 1 km2) and shallow (<0.4 m) freshwater Lake Luanhaizi situated at about 3200 m asl.
Ostracod valves were usually abundant in all of the 32 samples and comprised the taxa listed in Table 1, some of which are illustrated in Plate 1.
The recorded taxa are mainly distributed in the holarctic realm but Fabaeformiscandona danielopoli and Ilyocypris echinata appear to be restricted to the cold mountainous regions in China (Huang, 1985; Wang & Zhu, 1991; Sun et al., 1995; Yin & Martens, 1997).
Following the first survey, a 14 m long core was drilled in Lake Luanhaizi in January 2002 which is currently under multidisciplinary investigation to reconstruct the Holocene vegetation and climatic history of the Qilian Mountains.
Funding was provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD).
- Received April 25, 2002.
- Accepted January 28, 2003.
- © 2003 The Micropalaeontological Society