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Lanzhou University (2008)

An Integrated Study on Record Characteristics and Environmental Significance of Locust Plagues in China during the Historical Period

Li Gang

Titre : An Integrated Study on Record Characteristics and Environmental Significance of Locust Plagues in China during the Historical Period

Auteur : Li Gang

Grade : Doctoral Dissertation 2008

Université : Lanzhou University

Résumé partiel
Flood, drought and locust plague were the three biggest agricultural disasters in Chinese history. The three biggest disasters always led to various social crises such as hunger, epidemics, and wars. Both natural disasters and social crises would do great harm to agricultural and social-economic development. Meanwhile, they witnessed a hard but transcendent history in which Chinese people fought against natural disasters and social crises. Therefore, the process of Chinese social-economic development was a long struggle history.As the most frequent disasters in Chinese history, flood and drought which had a close relationship with climate change have been studied by many researchers for a long time. As for locust plague, more focuses should be paid to it. The reasons are as follows : First, the locust plagues registered in Chinese historical documents were caused by migratory locusts, especially Oriental migratory locust (OML), which had strong flying ability and could choose their food freely, so migratory locusts were hard to control. In addition, the causes of migratory locust plagues were rather complex and there were great difference of opinion from the past researches. Second, studies on historical locust plagues involved many specialization fields such as History, Biography and Geography etc. It was impossible to draw a comprehensive conclusion from a single field. Therefore these studies should be carried out under the leadership of the thought of integration, which was a nodus. Third, the relationship between locust plague and climate change was more complex than that between flood or drought and climate change. On many occasions, locust plague was caused by latent climate change, so more work should be done to disclose the secret between locust plague and climate change.This study was carried out in order to answer the questions full of disputes. Through collection and interpretation of Chinese historical documents that related with locust plague, we set up a Chinese historical locust plague database according to which the trend and characteristics of locust plagues were disclosed. As for the three subspecies of migratory locusts in China, we showed the sublevel regionalization map of them. According to the database and map above, we constructed many historical locust plague sequences and analyzed their periods with Wavelet Analysis Method. More work was done to deal with comparisons between locust plague sequences and sequences of other natural disasters, social crises, and climate proxies—mainly temperature and precipitation. At last, we drew a preliminary conclusion of the environmental significance of historical locust plagues. In a word, our study was an integrated study on record characteristics and environmental significance of locust plagues in China during the historical period, and the study was an integrated work based on historical data, geographical methods and biological explanation.The general results and conclusions are as follows :(1) The study period began with year 707BC in which the first locust plague had been registered in document and ended with year 1949AD after which pesticide was widely used to control the number of migratory locust. We collected 4346 locust plague records from 27 provinces of China (including Taiwan), with 1241 volumes of documents involved. In addition, 592 records of other pests were also gained. The frequencies of locust plague year in their whole period descended from Oriental migratory locust (OML), Tibetan Migratory Locust (TML), to Asiatic Migratory Locust (AML).(2) When collecting historical locust plague records,

Mots clés : Plague of Locusts Documented, climate change Environmental significance Historical period China

Présentation (Dissertationtopic )

Page publiée le 7 mai 2013, mise à jour le 9 janvier 2018