Baiyinxile State Farm, Xilingele League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica, Beijing
893831, ext. 285
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-