The institute was founded as Institute of Forestry and Soil Sciences, IAE on 15 October, 1954. The current name was set in 1987. The institute was approved as a test unit for National Knowledge Innovation in 2001 and approved as a test unit for Feature Institute of IAE . The Institute has 5 research centers, 1 National Engineering Laboratory, 1 key Lab of IAE， 5 Provincial key laboratory and 8 field ecological research stations, a Northeast China Bio-specimen Room and a Shenyang Arboretum.
Since founding, the institute has developed research around sustainable development of agriculture and forestry, urgent and important problems in ecological and environmental construction and for the demand in discipline development of applied ecology. Basic, strategic and prospective research work was developed in forest ecology and forestry ecological engineering, soil ecology and agricultural ecological engineering, pollution ecology and environmental ecological engineering. The work enriched and developed basic theories for forest ecology, agricultural ecology and pollution ecology, provided scientific basis and key technology for the recovery and re-construction of degraded ecosystems, improvement of environment, guarantee of food safety. Two hundred and thirty rewards were obtained from national or provincial level, including 32 national and 198 provincial. Two hundred and eighty three monographs were published, more than 7300 papers were published, including 2057 SCI papers, 474 patents were authorized.
In 1987 the institute was renamed as IAE CAS according to the strategic deployment of CAS for strengthening the research on ecology, resources and environment. The subject of IAE was oriented to terrestrial eco-system. Modern ecology was set as main target, including macroscopic ecology, system ecology, experimental ecology, bio-engineering and bio-technology.
In 1998, according to the international trend of development in applied ecology, national requirement in eco-environmental construction, the strategic deployment of CAS and the subject advantage and accumulation, scientific subject of IAE was set as: Taking applied ecology as main target, experimental ecology as main means, focusing on the research on matter cycling process in forest ecology, pollution ecology and agricultural ecology and sustainable development of regional agriculture.
In 2001, IAE was approved as a test unit for knowledge innovation engineering。Forest ecology and forestry ecological engineering, Soil ecology and agricultural ecological engineering and pollution ecology and eco-environmental engineering were established as major subjects.
In 2015, according to the unified deployment of CAS in Being First Plan, IAE entered the test unit for Featured Institute and entered a new historical period in development.
IAE has 5 research centers, respectively for Forest and Forestry Ecological Engineering, Soil Ecology and Agricultural Ecological Engineering, Landscape Ecology and Regional Planning, Bio-Resources and Bio Technology. There a series key labs founded in IAE: National Soil Nutrition Management Engineering (jointly sponsored), Pollution Ecology and Eco-Environmental Engineering IAE, Liaoning Terrestrial Ecological Process and Regional Ecological Safety, Liaoning Ecological Public Forest, Liaoning Plant Resources Utilization, Liaoning Soil Environment Quality and Agricultural Product Safety, Liaoning Fertilizer Engineering and Technology Center.- Eight field research stations were deployed, including National Changbai Mountain Forest Eco-system Research Station (In Jilin Province), National Shenyang Cropland Ecosystem Research Station (In Liaoning Province), National Huitong Forest Ecosystem Research Station (In Hunan Province). These three stations are also members of China’s Ecosystem Research Network. Others are Qingyuan Forest Ecology Station ( In Liaoning Province) is CAS level, Wulanaodu Desertification Research Station (In Inner-Mongolia Autonomic Region) is a desertification prevention and monitor research station co-sponsored with National Forestry Bureau. Daqinggou Sandy-Land Ecological Research Station, Shenyang Arboretum (In Liaoning Province) and Erguna Grassland Ecotone Ecosystem Research Station (In Inner Mongolia Autonomic Region) are subordinated to the institute. IAE has also the biggest bio-specimen room in Northeast China. To promote the whole research level and domestic and international influence, a new area with 23 hectares in north suburb of Shenyang was set and main building, graduate gardens and a center for plant introduction and acclimation have been constructed, equipped and put in use.
· Now, the institute has 392 employees, therein 292 are research workers or supporting workers. There are 69 professors or equivalent, 95 associate professors or equivalent engineers. One was elected in National Thousand Talent Program, one was elected for National Thousand Young Talent Program, 12 for CAS Hundred Talent Program, 2 were supported by Science Foundation for Distinguished Youth Scholars, NNSFC, 3 were supported by Outstanding Youth Foundation, NNSFC, 2 chief scientist in 973 (National Key Basic Research and Development Program), 1 chief scientist in Youth 973 Program, 4 elected in National Talent Program, 1 was awarded by UFRO for his research achievements.
· Besides, IAE has an innovation team, conferred by China’s Ministry of Agriculture, 2 innovative cross team, conferred by CAS. IAE has developed efficient cooperation and exchange with universities and other research organizations of USA, UK, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Swedish, Japan et al. IAE has cooperative relations also with domestic famous universities and enterprises.