hancement were also used. This project resulted in the compilation of thematic maps of grassland resources at 1:1,000,000 for the IMAR and 1:500,000 for each league, including maps for vegetation, rangeland type, land use, climate (surface moisture and temperature), geomorphology, water resources, soil, and ecoregionalization. These achievements have provided valuable information for agricultural regionalization, grassland management, land use, environmental conservation, and monitoring of resource dynamics at various scales. The results of this project have been published in the book Survey of Inner Mongolia Grassland Resources Using Remote Sensing, edited by the Inner Mongolia Grassland Resources Remote Sensing Expedition (Chen and Li, 1987).
Animals and Animal Ecology Animal ecology has received less attention than vegetation or plant ecology in the Xilingele steppe region. A survey of mammalian fauna was carried out from 1979 to 1987 by a group of scientists from the Institute of Zoology. The first systematic report on the mammals of Xilingele (Zhou et al., 1988) found 32 species, belonging to 15 families and 6 orders. These include several species that are representative of the Mongolia-Xinjiang region and the East Steppe subregion: Microtus brandti, Citellus dauricus, Ochotona daurica, Phodopus sungorus, Meriones unguiculatus, Allactaga sibirica, Procapra gutturosa, Vulpes corsac, and Felis manul. The activities of herbivorous rodents such as Microtus brandti, Ochotona daurica, and Citellus dauricus damage the grassland, whereas seed-feeding rodents such as Cricetulus barabensis and Meriones unguiculatus do harm to farmlands. Game animals in this area include the herbivores Lepus capensis, Capreolus, and Procapra gutturosa. Several carnivores, such as Mustela nivalis, M. altaica, M. sibirica, M. eversmanni, Felis manul, Vulpes corsac, and V. vulpes, are fur-bearing animals and predators of grassland rodents.
Animal studies have focused primarily on two groups: grassland rodents and acridoids. Rodents are among the most diverse and abundant of the grassland mammals. Studies of the species composition, spatial patterns, food preferences and consumption, behavioral characteristics, and community structure and function of steppe rodents have been carried out continuously since 1979 (Zhong et al., 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985a,b; Zhou et al., 1982, 1985; Agren et al. 1989a,b).
Since 1980, researchers at the Institute of Zoology have also studied the acridoids of the Xilin River Basin (Li et al., 1983; Li and Chen, 1985, 1988). Specimens collected during the periods 1963–1964 and 1980–1986 include 33 species of acridoids, belonging to 4 families and 24 genera, in the Xilingele typical steppe area (Li and Chen, 1988). Among geofauna, palaearctic species are dominant, with 29 species accounting for 87.8% of the total. The steppe acridoids may be divided by habitat into three major groups: xerophilous, mesophilous, and hydrophilous. Pararcyptera microptera meridionalis, Myrmeleotettix palpalis, and Chorthippus dubius are important pests during outbreak periods, and Dasyhippus barbipes, Chorthippus fallax, Angaracris rhodopa, and A. barabensis