11
Inner Mongolia

THE GRASSLAND RESEARCH INSTITUTE, CHINESE ACADEMY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES

Chinese

Zhongguo nongye kexueyuan caoyuan yanjiuso

Address

Wulanchabu Road, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia 010010

Director

Li Bo

Deputy director

Ma Zhiguang

Telephone

43852, 43856, 42312

Fax

0471 665224

Cable

6096

Telex

85015 HUME CN

The Grassland Research Institute (GRI), established in 1963, is one of three research institutes of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) that focuses on the problems of forage, grassland ecology, and range management. The director of the institute, Professor Li Bo, one of the founders of grassland science in China, remains a leader in this field. The institute has a research staff of more than 300, including 42 senior scientists, organized into eight divisions: forage germ plasm resources, grassland resources and remote sensing, grass breeding, grass cultivation, range management, forage grass diseases and pests, animal production, and grassland machinery. Results of this research are published in the institute's journal, Grasslands of China [Zhongguo caodi].

The GRI maintains a broad research program in surveying and improving grasslands; collecting, classifying, evaluating, and preserving forage germ plasm; and managing pests and diseases. In an interview, deputy director Ma Zhiguang



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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China 11 Inner Mongolia THE GRASSLAND RESEARCH INSTITUTE, CHINESE ACADEMY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES Chinese Zhongguo nongye kexueyuan caoyuan yanjiuso Address Wulanchabu Road, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia 010010 Director Li Bo Deputy director Ma Zhiguang Telephone 43852, 43856, 42312 Fax 0471 665224 Cable 6096 Telex 85015 HUME CN The Grassland Research Institute (GRI), established in 1963, is one of three research institutes of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) that focuses on the problems of forage, grassland ecology, and range management. The director of the institute, Professor Li Bo, one of the founders of grassland science in China, remains a leader in this field. The institute has a research staff of more than 300, including 42 senior scientists, organized into eight divisions: forage germ plasm resources, grassland resources and remote sensing, grass breeding, grass cultivation, range management, forage grass diseases and pests, animal production, and grassland machinery. Results of this research are published in the institute's journal, Grasslands of China [Zhongguo caodi]. The GRI maintains a broad research program in surveying and improving grasslands; collecting, classifying, evaluating, and preserving forage germ plasm; and managing pests and diseases. In an interview, deputy director Ma Zhiguang

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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China described the following projects, which were carried out during the Seventh Five-Year Plan (1986–1990): The collection, identification, and storage of forage grass germ plasm: Under a grant from the Ministry of Agriculture (3 million Renminbi [RMB] over five years, 1986–90), the institute led a nationwide program to collect, identify, catalog, and store forage germ plasm. Part of this grant paid universities and research institutes throughout the country to collect seed samples and send them to GRI, where the seeds have been propagated, identified, and stored in a temporary seed bank. The current inventory is 5500 samples from China and abroad. A permanent germ plasm storage bank, nearing completion in late 1990, will provide space for 12,000 varieties. Professor Jiang Youquan is director of the institute's forage germ plasm laboratory. Creation of a computerized germ plasm data base: Each sample added to the storage facility will be classified and tagged for 100 characteristics; this information will be entered into a computerized data bank. The data bank, which is in both English and Chinese, has been constructed, and the first items are now being entered by a young scholar who studied in the United Kingdom. The data is being loaded onto a free-standing personal computer. There is no network or system for data sharing at the present time. Using the method of stable isotopes to identify and analyze C3 and C4 grasses, assistant professor of plant physiology Lin Xiaoquan and his colleagues have collected 403 species from the Changbaishan region, identified 15 species of C4, 5 of CAM, and 180 of C3, and tested conditions, such as moisture and temperature, under which seeds will germinate. Experiments to improve deteriorated grasslands and studies of community succession: In eastern Inner Mongolia, the dominant species of grass has been restored by plowing, disking, and allowing land to lie fallow for three years. In central Inner Mongolia, where the soil is a dark chestnut, drier, looser, and more subject to erosion, and the annual precipitation is 250–300 mm, a more effective method has been to turn over less soil and leave more vegetation intact. In previously cultivated areas, artificial seeding has proved most effective. Areas previously planted with oats, exhausted, and abandoned 25–50 years ago, have shown an ability to recover after artificial reseeding. Breeding of drought-and disease-resistant legumes, such as Medicago ruthenica and Hedysarum mongolicum, that grow erect and have high productivity has yielded some favorable results in arid and semiarid grassland regions. Application of remote sensing to the study of north China grasslands: This project, under the direction of Professor Li Bo, has produced grassland and ecoregion maps of Inner Mongolia, which have been published by the Science Press.

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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China The following projects will be carried out during the Eighth Five Year Plan (1991–1995): Study of optimization management model for animal husbandry in the grassland of northern China: The institute has established two range sites in the Keerqin meadow steppe and Ordos sandy-brush grassland (Map 1-3). At the Keerqin site, the effects of raising beef cattle on degenerated and artificial grasslands will be compared. Work at the Ordos site will experiment with control of desertification and the utility of artificial grasslands, planted in Medicago sativa, Astragalus adsurgens, and Caragana microphylla, for raising goats. Finally, an optimization model will be designed for animal production on these grasslands. Studies to establish biomass, dynamics, and disaster monitoring by remote sensing and geographic information services (GIS) in the north China grasslands. Studies identifying, testing, and storing forage germ plasm resources: In this project, natural and naturalized forage germ plasm resources will be collected from throughout China. After being identified, the seeds will be tested by physiological methods and planted in trial fields to determine their utility for herbage production. The best varieties will be collected and stored in the long-term seed bank. Dryland agriculture: In arid and semiarid regions, where precipitation is between 250 and 400 mm and there is no irrigation, germination must rely on timely rainfall. The purpose of this project is to determine the optimum time and suitable methods for maintaining moisture in the soil and maximizing water use efficiency. Studies on electrification of Mongolian tents: This work will design and test windmill-driven electric power generators for use by nomadic tent dwellers. An assessment of the Grassland Research Institute by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), which was carried out in October 1987, provides greater detail on the work of this institution. ACIAR conducted this study of behalf of the World Bank, which has made loans to seven CAAS research institutes, including two to GRI. The second loan to GRI was for U.S.$1.64 million for 1985–1990. The midterm review of this loan highlights several features of the work at GRI. The ACIAR found that all 19 research projects supported by the World Bank loan "have made significant progress toward their goal," commended the leadership and management practices of the institute, and recommended an extension of World Bank support beyond 1990. This confirms the impression

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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China of the CSCPRC delegation that significant work in grassland sciences is being done in China and that the potential for future cooperation is excellent. The ACIAR concluded, however, that too much of the World Bank funds had been spent for equipment and too little for technical training and maintenance. The CSCPRC delegation made brief visits to laboratories equipped with World Bank funds at GRI and other institutions. Although it was unable to make any valid assessments regarding the maintenance or use of this equipment, the delegation did observe large numbers of highly sophisticated and expensive instruments that were not in use at the time of the visit. The ACIAR found that scholars at GRI were sometimes poorly informed about relevant research elsewhere in China and abroad; that they had made insufficient use of World Bank funds to support overseas training and travel or to host visiting scientists and consultants from within China or abroad; that library holdings and current journal subscriptions were inadequate; that the institute had done too little to demonstrate the results of its work to potential consumers; and that the focus on grasslands had involved limited use of animals in grazing and feeding experiments. In many instances, the CSCPRC delegation observed similar tendencies among Chinese grassland scientists to focus exclusively on a particular problem or discipline and ignore related work in other fields or institutions. The failure to integrate studies of vegetation and animal husbandry was particularly striking. In contrast to the large amount of experimental instrumentation, the ACIAR found a shortage of computers, remote sensing equipment, and staff with skills in both areas, particularly computer modeling. This is consistent with the findings in almost all the institutes visited by the CSCPRC delegation and explains in part the compartmentalization of knowledge in this branch of environmental science. Although there has been very good work on particular problems or disciplines, there has been a lack of a broad, integrated, systemic view of the grasslands and their relation to other environmental and human factors. The chief mechanism for such integration outside China has been computer modeling, which remains relatively undeveloped in China. Similarly, whereas Chinese scholars have made use of remotely sensed imagery for mapping grasslands and other topographies, they have just begun to use digitized data and geographical information systems that would provide a basis for better integration. Many leading Chinese grassland scientists interviewed by the CSCPRC delegation expressed concern about this problem and described steps now underway to acquire the necessary equipment and to train younger scholars in the requisite skills. Finally, the ACIAR report pointed out that the Grassland Research Institute does not have a permanent research station in any of China's grassland areas and depends on the cooperation of other agencies to conduct field experiments. The institute does maintain an experimental field at Gonbulian, 25 km south of Hohhot, where seed propagation and breeding work is per-

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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China formed. A visit by the CSCPRC delegation to this site found work suspended, pending a decision on the Eighth Five-Year Plan, which will determine its future. INNER MONGOLIA INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURE AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY, DEPARTMENT OF GRASSLAND SCIENCE Chinese Neimenggu nongmu xueyuan caoyuan kexuexi Address 5 Xinjiang East Road, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia 010018 President Dr. Wu Ni Chairman Liu Defu Telephone (0471) 44746 The Inner Mongolia Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, founded in 1952, is one of three institutions of higher learning administered by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) that has a department of grassland science. The college has 700 faculty, including 210 professors and associate professors, and 3400 full-time students in nine departments: agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, agronomy, animal husbandry, animal medicine, food science and technology, grassland science, horticulture, and hydraulic engineering. The principal mission of the college is to train people with useful knowledge and skills in the fields of agriculture and animal husbandry. Most full-time students are undergraduates. Some departments, including grassland science, offer an M.S. degree. The college also runs extension, technical, and teacher training programs. Ethnic minorities constitute 30% of the faculty and 25% of the full-time students. Instruction in four departments, including grassland science, is given in both Chinese and Mongolian languages. The Department of Grassland Science, established in 1958, has a staff of 79 under its director, Liu Defu, and deputy director, Zhi Zhongsheng, including 4 full and 16 associate professors. During the decade 1980–1990, this department granted 1200 B.S. and 36 M.S. degrees and 220 certificates for completion of a two-year technical course. The enrollment in 1991 is 300 undergraduate, 60 two-year certificate, and 8 graduate students. The department has seven specialties: botany, zoology, grassland management, grassland survey and planning, herbage and forage crop breeding, herbage and forage crop cultivation, and herbal plant cultivation. The facilities, which the CSCPRC delegation did not visit, reportedly include a large central laboratory, built and equipped with a loan from the World Bank; a herbarium containing 20,000 plant specimens maintained, in part, through cooperation with the Soviet Union and the Missouri Botanical Garden; and a research station located near the college, but apparently not in the grasslands. In recent years, the department has sent eleven staff abroad, mostly to the United States, of whom five have

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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China returned. They are currently preparing four more faculty to go abroad for advanced study. In an interview, Professor Ma Helin, who serves as head of the department's research program, listed 118 research projects carried out during 1958–1988 in the following areas: grassland resources survey and investigation (32); grassland protection (4); grassland evaluation of plants (14); grassland classification (4); grassland management (10); grassland dynamics and productivity (7); artificial grassland improvement (16); plant introduction and evaluation (12); silage preservation (5); and variety listing, seed production, and technology (5). On the basis of this work, the department has compiled four university textbooks: Grassland Management, Herbage and Forage Crop Cultivation, Herbage and Forage Crop Processing and Storage, and Plant Taxonomy. Other scientific works written or compiled by members of the department include Herbage and Forage Flora of China; Flora of Inner Mongolia (Fu Xiangqiang); Flora of China, Vol. 9, Book 2 (Wang Chopin); Root Systems of Grassland Plants in Inner Mongolia (Chin Shihuong); Technical Standards and Procedures of Grassland Survey (Zhang Zhutong and Liu Defu); Maps of China's Grassland Resources and Maps of Inner Mongolia Grassland Resources (Liu Defu); and Inner Mongolian Grassland Resources (Zhang Zhutong and Liu Defu). Two more books, Grassland Resources in Northern China's Major Animal Production Areas and Grassland Resources of China, are now in progress. Professor Ma also listed the research projects now underway, including in some cases the principal investigator and source of support, as follows: root distribution of pasture plants, Professor Chin Shihuong (National Science Foundation of China; NSFC); gamma radiation study to improve legumes, Professor Ma Helin (NSFC); standardization of herbage seed, mixture of grassland plants, and herbage nutritional dynamics, all by Professor Xi Libu and funded by the Ministry of Agriculture; selection of plant types (Inner Mongolian State Science and Technology Commission; IMSSTC); bush mice dynamics and impact on grassland (IMSSTC); inoculation of specimens (Inner Mongolian Commission on Education); distribution of rodents in semiarid areas of Inner Mongolia; production of improved legumes; and cross-breeding of legumes and wheat. Three other lines of research have been undertaken by teams of scholars in this department. First, the selection and breeding of herbage plants, in progress since the 1960s, has produced two varieties of alfalfa that are resistant to cold and drought. Second, experiments to establish artificial grasslands include one project, funded by the MOA, to develop artificial dry pasture, using species selected from the sandland, and another to select and breed suitable meadow steppe grass in the Chifeng region. Third, Professor Li Dexin described the "Inner Mongolia Grassland Primary Productivity Study," sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and carried out between 1983 and 1989 in Damao Banner, a desert grassland area 120 km northwest of Hohhot. The major achievements of this project, which was based on data gathered at 86 separate

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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China sites, include determination of the nutritional values of various grass species, modeling of Stipa grassland, analysis of nitrogen cycling in Stipa pasture, comparison of grazing pressure in different areas, and identification of an optimal rotational grazing system. A summary report of this work is scheduled for publication in 1991, under the editorship of Professor Zhang Zutong. NATURAL RESOURCES INSTITUTE, INNER MONGOLIA UNIVERSITY Chinese Neimenggu daxue ziran ziyuan yanjiuso Address 1 Daxue Road, Hohhot 010021 Director Liu Zhongling Deputy director Yong Shipeng Telephone 43141, 34931 Telex 85015 HUME CN Cable 4812 Inner Mongolia University (IMU), which was founded in 1957, has 1000 faculty and more tha 4000 students—graduates and undergraduates—in 13 departments. The Natural Resources Institute (NRI), a graduate and research unit, was established by Professor Li Bo, now director of the CAAS Grassland Research Institute, who remains a member of the IMU faculty. As in similar cases, the dual role of a senior professor helps ensure close cooperation between otherwise separate institutions. The current leadership of the NRI includes Professors Liu Zhongling, director, and Yong Shipeng, deputy director, both prominent figures in national grassland affairs. The university publishes its own University of Inner Mongolia Journal [Neimenggu daxue xuebao], which includes articles on grassland science. Each year, approximately 20 scholars and graduate students from Inner Mongolia University conduct field research at the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station in Xilingele (see below). Some prominent IMU scientists and the research they have published on the basis of work at this site include: Liu Zhongling, studies of productivity, grassland improvement, and artificial grasslands involving Aneurolepidium, and the effects of burning on grassland productivity and succession; Yang Zhi, community structure of Aneurolepidium; Zhong Yankai, fodder cutting at different frequencies and seasons; Song Bingyu, water relations and evapotranspiration; Liao Yangnan, soil microbiology; Chen Min, creation of artificial grasslands by irrigation, fertilization, and seeding; and Liu Yongjian, zoo-ecology of worms and insects. Results of this work appear in Caoyuan shengtai xitong yanjiu [Research on Grassland Ecosystem] (3 volumes, in Chinese) and are summarized in Reports from the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station of Academia Sinica (1979–1988) (in English), both published by the Science Press in Beijing.

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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China Mapping of the Inner Mongolian grasslands using Landsat photos (first the Multispectral Scanner [MSS], later the Thematic Mapper [TM]) began at the Natural Resources Institute in 1983. The maps and accompanying texts, edited by Professors Li Bo, Liu Zhongling, and Yong Shipeng, are scheduled for publication in 1990 or 1991 by Science Press in Beijing. An English language edition of these volumes will follow if sufficient funding can be secured. It should be noted that this project uses remote photography, not digital data. More advanced work in the use of remote sensing to identify grasslands and other surface vegetation is still limited to the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute for Remote Sensing in Beijing. The Natural Resources Institute is planning to build the first permanent research station in the dry grassland [ganhan caoyuan] of Siziwang Banner, described in Chapter 1. Under this plan, which depends on funding (300,000 RMB per year for five years) from the Eighth Five-Year Plan, a central station will be built in Siziwang and four substations at intervals along the road that runs 150 km north to the border of the Mongolian People's Republic. This area is beyond the limit of cultivation and occupied by Mongol minorities; its economy is based entirely on animal husbandry. The proposed station will support pure and applied research, education of IMU undergraduate and graduate students, and production of various animal products. One senior NRI scholar described the mission of the Siziwang station and of Chinese grassland scientists in general as to increase the productivity of grasslands in order to support greater numbers of livestock. This scholar explained that because of the growing demand for meat, wool, and other animal products, the government is unwilling or unable to reduce the number of animals, and in his view there is little possibility that this situation will change. With no prospect for stabilizing, much less reducing, the stocking rates, this informant believes that the only choice for Chinese scientists is to develop ways to expand grassland productivity to meet the needs of growing herds. It is interesting to note that this scholar did not mention other alternatives for increasing livestock productivity, such as improved breeding, feeding, or changes in marketing methods. Here, as elsewhere, Chinese scholars engaged in grassland science exhibited limited knowledge of or interest in animal husbandry—a common feature of science in a country where academic disciplines and experts tend to be highly compartmentalized. The views of this scholar were also strikingly at odds with the policies articulated by Li Yutang, chief of the MOA Grassland Division, who complained that many Chinese grassland scientists focus exclusively on the supply of livestock feed and fail to understand the need to reduce herd size. According to Li, even if the grasslands could be restored to their former, more productive status, the excessive number of livestock already on the land would soon return them to a state of degradation. The solution, in the view of this MOA official, lies in achieving a more effective balance between animals and forage resources.

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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China INNER MONGOLIA GRASSLAND ECOSYSTEM RESEARCH STATION, ACADEMIA SINICA Chinese Zhongguo kexueyuan Neimenggu caoyuan shengtai xitong dingweizhan Location Baiyinxile State Farm, Xilingele League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Address Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica, Beijing Director Chen Zuozhong Telephone 893831, ext. 285 Fax 866013 Cable 3891 Beijing The Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station, commonly called the Xilingele Station, is located on the Baiyinxile State Farm, 70 km south of Xilinhot City (43°38'N, 116°42'E), in the transition zone between the Inner Mongolian Plateau to the northwest and the foothills of the Daxinganling Mountains to the east. This is a temperate, semiarid continental steppe zone, elevation 1187 m, with a long, cold, dry winter; a warm, humid summer; and a short spring and autumn. The mean annual temperature is-0.4°C, annual precipitation 350 mm, with a range of 180–500 mm, 60–80% of which occurs from June to August; and the annual evaporation is 1665 mm. The principal soil is chestnut, replaced at higher elevations by mountain chernozem. The major vegetation is ''typical grassland,'' dominated by Aneurolepidium chinense, Stipa grandis, and Artemisia spp. Wild animals include rodents, grasshoppers, Mongolian gazelle, fox, wolf, eagle, and snakes. Economically, the station lies on the northern edge of a transition zone between agriculture (spring wheat) and animal husbandry, and is dominated by extensive grazing of sheep, cattle, and horses, with seasonal migration. Both the population density (3 people/km2) and the stocking rate (0.75 sheep units per hectare) of this region are relatively low. The Xilingele station was established in 1979 by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. This site was selected in part because, since the 1950s, surveys of vegetation, animal husbandry, and other aspects of this region had been carried out by scholars from the major institutions in Hohhot. The station is administered by the Institute of Botany, CAS, with the cooperation of Inner Mongolia University. As an "open" site, scholars from throughout China and foreign countries may apply to reside and conduct research at the station. An academic committee, composed of scholars from relevant institutions inside and outside the CAS, selects recipients of grants administered by the station and advises the director, currently Professor Chen Zuozhong of the Institute of Botany, on other policy matters. The station compound covers approximately 1500 m2 and includes dormi-

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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China tories for 60 scholars, one dormitory for visiting foreigners, central dining, transportation, and other support facilities. Most scholars remain in residence during the summer months (May–September). There is no central heating, but the station remains open during winter, and electric space heaters are available. The station is equipped with electricity and telephone service, but no computer facilities or data lines. There are 10–12 moderately equipped laboratories for basic work in several disciplines. Access to the station is by airplane from Hohhot to Xilinhot (one hour), then by jeep (one and one-half hours). Overland routes to the station from both Hohhot and Beijing are currently closed to foreigners, although they have been opened by special permission on two recent occasions. Since 1979, scholars working at the Xilingele station have produced and published research of three types. Their first task has been to survey, map, and record basic data on the climate, soil, flora, and fauna of this region. The Xilingele station reports long-term (10-year) data of the following types: (1) meteorological data, including atmospheric temperature and pressure, relative humidity, ground temperature, precipitation, evaporation, sunshine, wind direction and speed (meteorological data from Xilingele station cover 1979–1990; more complete data, from the county meteorological bureau and other government agencies, covering a period of 40–50 years, may be available, but expensive and difficult to obtain); (2) soil data, including soil moisture, physical features, nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), and chemical characteristics; (3) botanical data, including floral composition, community structure, above-and below-ground phytomass and their dynamics, photosynthetic rates of individual plants, plant litter quantity, and decomposition rates; (4) zoological data, including the structure, dynamics, and diet of rodent and acridoid communities; energy flows; and grazing and ecological behavior of domestic animals; (5) bacteriological data, including the composition, biomass, decomposition capacity, seasonal and yearly dynamics of soil microbes; and (6) data on the dynamics of succession of degraded and artificial grasslands. The second task of scholars working in Xilingele has been to conduct basic research that enhances general understanding of natural phenomena and provides a foundation for more practical or applied work. During the station's first decade, the following studies were carried out: dynamics of the structure and productivity of grassland plant communities; rates of photosynthesis in individual plants and plant communities; population structure of grassland plant communities; transpiration rate of plant individuals and communities and its role in water balance; structure, dynamics, and population ecology of rodent communities; structure, dynamics, and energy flow of grasshopper communities; ecology of soil microorganisms; transfer of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium between soil and plants; content and transformation of soil nutrients; and nutrient cycling and fertilization.

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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China Third, scholars at Xilingele, as elsewhere in China, are expected to produce results of practical economic or other benefit to society and the state. This responsibility bears heavily on work at Xilingele, because of the close connection between grassland science and animal husbandry, and because as an open station, many researchers come to Xilingele from "systems," such as the Ministry of Agriculture, that have an applied mandate. Some of the more notable applied science projects conducted at this station during the past 10 years include artificial and natural restoration and improvement of grasslands; introduction of forage and economic plants; cultivation of grasslands without irrigation; comparison of mowing patterns to enhance productivity; and methods to control rodents, grasshoppers, and other pests. Much of the research carried out in Xilingele has appeared in the station's Caoyuan shengtai xitong yanjiu [Research on Grassland Ecosystem], published in Chinese in three volumes, 1985–1988. For a complete collection of abstracts, some full articles, and other related information in English, see Reports from the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station of Academia Sinica (1979–1988), (Beijing: Science Press, 1990). During a one and one-half day visit to the Xilingele station, director Chen Zuozhong showed the CSCPRC delegation several field sites and ongoing research projects. In trials to improved degraded grasslands, an area of 800 mu (15 mu equals 1 hectare) has been enclosed by barbed wire fence for eight years (1982–1990). The area inside the fence is divided into experimental plots, each of which has been subjected to different methods and combinations of methods designed to restore and improve vegetation: turning over the sod by plow, application of chemical fertilizer, artificial seeding, and so forth. Each area has been measured and compared for changes in biomass, community composition and structure, height of plants, insect and rodent communities, and soil composition. Preliminary findings suggest that the best method for restoring grassland is to turn with the plow only, without seeding or fertilization. At the end of 10 years, a comprehensive survey will be done to summarize the results. A separate set of experiments test alternate strategies for cutting fodder—every year, every two years, twice each year, at different times of the year, etc. Various strategies were tried first on small plots, and the most successful methods were expanded to large plots. Results show that cutting every two years results in the most rapid recovery and highest overall production. Finally, a grazing intensity project, begun in 1990, subjects identical, 1-hectare enclosures to varying numbers of sheep (4, 6, 8, 10, 12) for varying lengths of time, to determine the impact of grazing on vegetation. The fact that this work has just begun is indicative of the low priority the Xilingele station has placed on animal husbandry, which is due to three factors: (1) the separation of labor between the CAS, which does basic research, and the Ministry of Agriculture, which does applied research and has not been willing to

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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China support projects carried out in the CAS system; (2) the high cost of fencing required to do grazing intensity studies; and (3) the fact that only recently has the state farm agreed to assign personnel to carry out these experiments, which are done under director Chen's supervision. Members of the CSCPRC delegation, director Chen, and several other scholars at Xilingele agreed on the major strengths and weaknesses of the station's research program. On the positive side, most individual projects appear to be appropriate, both economically and scientifically, well designed, and well executed. Taken together, this work has established reliable and continuous baseline data, probed deeply into select problems, and identified the station as an important center of grassland research. In general, however, the projects have been separate, isolated, sporadic, and lacking in unifying vision or purpose. There has been no attempt to apply a systems approach and, until very recently, no attempt to introduce mathematical computer modeling. The result is a research enterprise that is interesting, full of potential, but not yet integrated. Director Chen was frank in explaining that this result reflects China's lack of both people and equipment needed to carry out large-scale modeling and systems ecology. Chen and several of his colleagues volunteered the notion that future research at Xilingele must emphasize a systems approach. The station has one young scholar who has begun to experiment with modeling. Chen is anxious to train more younger scholars in modeling and to find foreign collaborators to assist this program. The Xilingele station has also been at the forefront in supporting research on the economics of animal husbandry. Beginning in 1990, a team of seven economists from the department of economics of Inner Mongolia University, led by department chairman Xu Bainian, has been gathering data for a study of the Baiyinxile State Farm. Data on population, household income, agriculture, livestock, and industry, which have been drawn from records of the research station, the farm's planning bureau, and a survey of 30 households, will be the basis for a series of reports, scheduled for completion in late 1991, on the economics and management of the state farm. The second stage of this project is to draft a 10-year plan for developing the farm's economy. The plan will include proposals for reforms aimed at producing a sustainable balance among agriculture, animal husbandry, and natural resources. An overview of the finances of the Xilingele station indicates both the levels of funding and the sources of support available for grassland research in China. The station's parent body, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, provides core support, along with separate funds for competitive individual grants and directed collaborative projects. The current budget includes 130,000 RMB per year of core support, although Director Chen considers this sum inadequate and expects that it will be increased to 150,000 RMB in the Eighth Five-Year Plan (1991–1995). The budget also provides 200,000 RMB per year for research grants to individual scholars, who are chosen on the basis of com-

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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China petitive applications by the station's "scholarly committee" made up of leading scholars from inside and outside the academy. Xilingele is an open research institution and therefore accepts applications from any Chinese scholar, although some informants reported that personal reputation and connections continue to influence the selection process. Finally, the academy has a limited number of major projects that are centrally administered with elements parceled out to participating institutions. The Xilingele station receives about 150,000 RMB per year in this category, including a second-year grant of 100,000 RMB from the Chinese Ecological Research Network (CERN), which supports four projects in the areas of water cycling, nutrient cycling, biomass productivity, and demonstration of existing Xilingele projects to visiting groups. Three other sources support the work at Xilingele. The National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) supplies 100,000 RMB per year, half of which supports work on the nationwide grassland modeling project administered by Professor Zhang Xinshi of the Institute of Botany, and the other half individual research grants used at Xilingele. Professor Chen notes that in recent years, NSFC has preferred large-scale, centrally administered grants, whereas the typical NSFC individual grant is a relatively modest 30,000–50,000 per year for three to four years. The station receives small grants, 10,000–20,000 RMB per year, from other non-CAS institutions that participate in activities at this site. Finally, the station has been receiving about 10,000 RMB per year for at least one individual project funded by the UNESCO Man-and-the-Biosphere project. Director Chen hopes that the Eighth Five-Year Plan (1991–1995) will include 700,000–800,000 RMB over five years for facilities and equipment. He plans to use these funds to purchase personal computers for data input at the station. However, any systems-linked data base (e.g., CERN) will be loaded into computers in Beijing. There is no plan for network hookup to Xilingele. Interesting features of the Xilingele site include a series of extinct volcanoes and an ancient lake, Dalai Nur, that lies on the eastern edge of the Baiyinxile Farm. This lake has shrunk in recent times, leaving an exposed terrace structure. Lake bed coring and pollen analysis could provide data on past plant communities and climate regimes. Professor Kong Zhaochen, in the department of paleobotany of the Institute of Botany, has analyzed pollen samples in cores taken from lake beds throughout northern China to reconstruct the changing climate of this region during the last 20,000 years. He and a colleague, Professor Duan Shuying, are planning to extend this study to Dalai Nur.

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