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Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China
artificial meadows is to select the species most appropriate for the given topography, soil and climate (Lu et al., 1989; Wang and Su, 1989). Among the best wild forage plants are Aneurolepidium chinensis, Agropyron cristatum, Astragalus adsurgens, Elymus sibiricus, Caragana intermedia, C. korshinskii, Hedysarum mongolicum, and Kochia prostrata (Jiang and Han, 1989). Forage species that are tolerant to saline-alkali conditions, such as Puccinellia tenuiflora, Melilotus, and Hordeum, and high-quality forages, including alfalfa, Trifolium repens, T. pratense, Bromus inermis, Dactylis glomerata, Phleum pratense, and Sorgham sudanense, play an important role in artificial meadows.
China's rangelands suffer severe losses due to infestation of insects, mice, weeds, and disease. Although considerable work has been done in some fields, China has yet to develop a viable program of integrated pest prevention and control. More research, particularly on biological controls, could make a major contribution to reducing damage to China's grasslands (Hou, 1989; Wang and Su, 1989). There has also been a shortage of research on forage diseases. Integrated techniques to prevent and control mice should concentrate on range management, improvement of pasturing methods, prevention of degeneration from overgrazing, and recovery and improvement of degenerated grasslands (Dong and Hou, 1989; Zhong and Zhou, 1989; Zhou and Fan, 1989).
China should invest more in rangeland reconstruction. Particularly important is the construction of artificial grasslands, fodder fields, and cold-season pastures. New investment for the breeding and introduction of for age species, fencing, irrigation, drinking water, livestock shelters, and processing of forage should also be increased, in order to raise the quality of China's grasslands to the international standard (Hu, 1989; Huang, 1989; Liu, 1989; Zhang, 1989).
Finally, there is a need for better coordination and planning of research on China's grasslands. China has several thousand grassland scientists and technicians, but their research is dispersed, disconnected, and uncoordinated. Major projects on animal husbandry and grassland development in key regions should be organized and carried out. Research on agroforestry, combining agriculture, forestry, and grassland husbandry in an integrated system, should be considered a major priority. It is especially important to establish optimal models for agroforestry for various regions and types of grasslands (Zhang, 1989). Also important is research on the breeding of grass and forage varieties, integrated pest management for protection of grasslands, restoration and improvement of degraded grasslands, economics of grassland husbandry, and the creation of a grassland data bank and optimization models for grassland management (Jiao, 1989; Li et al., 1989; Wang and Su, 1989).
Cai Weiqi. 1989. Woguo beifang caodi turang ji qi qianli [Grassland soil and its potential in northern China]. Pp. 71–76 in Zhongguo caodi kexue yu caoye fazhan [Grassland Science and Grassland Development in China]. Beijing: Science Press.