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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China
The IBPP's Division of Grassland Ecology, established in 1987, has a staff of 21 people, including 4 senior professors, under division chief Professor Zhang Liyun. Since the 1950s, Professor Zhang Dianmin has conducted surveys of grassland resources and other vegetation of western China, and has studied the physiological ecology of individual plants and native leguminous grasses. This division also carries out projects to increase the productivity of Xinjiang grasslands through the introduction of new species, irrigation, and other artificial methods. Recent projects have focused on the Bayinbuluke grassland and saline meadow in Hutubi.
FUKANG DESERT ECOSYSTEM OBSERVATION AND EXPERIMENT STATION, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Fukang huangmo shengtai xitong guance shiyan zhan
c/o Xinjiang Institute of Biology, Pedology, and Psammology, Urumqi
The Fukang Desert Ecosystem Observation and Experiment Station, a branch of the Institute of Biology, Pedology, and Psammology, was established in 1987. Construction of the main buildings, which include dormitory, dining, meeting, and laboratory facilities, is now complete. Scientists from the IBPP have begun to collect data from four meteorological stations and to conduct research on the botanic community, pedology, and soil microbiology at this site, although the station will not formally open until 1991 or 1992, after which scholars from throughout China and abroad will be able to use the facilities. Professor Li Shugang is director of the Fukang station and vice director of the IBPP.
Four meteorological observation posts, now in operation at the Fukang site, measure wind speed and direction at two heights; ground temperature at the surface and at depths of 5, 10 and 20 cm; air temperature; and precipitation. These posts are distributed along the gradient from the mountains to the desert, with a central post for collection and analysis of data. Fukang is one of the 10 key stations in the Chinese Ecological Research Network (CERN) and, together with the National Wildlife Reserve surrounding Heavenly Lake [Tianchi], forms a Man-and-the-Biosphere (MAB) Biological Reserve.
The station is located in Fukang County (43°50'N, 87°45'E), 76 km northeast of Urumqi, where the Tianshan Mountains meet the Junggar Basin. This is a temperate desert climate zone, hot in summer (average 25.6°C in July), cold in winter (average –17°C in January), with 176 frost-free days per year. The average annual precipitation is 164 mm and the evaporation 2000 mm.