From July 12th to 14th, 2018, the seminar of the Sino-US International Cooperation Major Project “Responses of Grassland Ecosystem to Extreme Climate Events”, co-sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the National Science Foundation of the United States, was held at Erguna Forest-Steppe Ecotone Research Station, Institute of Applied Ecology (IAE), Chinese Academy of Sciences (hereinafter referred to as Erguna Station).
On July 13th, 44 scientists and graduate students in total, including Prof. Alan Knapp and Prof. Melinda Smith of the Colorado State University, Prof. Eric W. Seabloom of the University of Minnesota, Prof. Scott L. Collins of the University of New Mexico, Prof. HAN Xingguo and Prof. HUANG Jianhui of the Institute of Botany, CAS, Prof. YU QIAN from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Prof. WANG Yanfen from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences as well as the participants from the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, CAS, the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Inner Mongolia University, Ningxia University, Lanzhou University and the International Bamboo and Rattan Center, attended the seminar at the Lecture Hall of Erguna Station.
The seminar was presided over by Prof. YU Qiang and then by Prof. WANG Zhengwen of IAE. A total of 19 PowerPoint presentations were given by the ecologists and graduate students from home and abroad. These presentations all focused on the effects of extreme drought on grassland ecosystem and its components, such as on grassland productivity and ecosystem functions (e.g., litter decomposition), arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis, community trait variation, and global nutrient research network, rainfall pattern, biodiversity, soil organic carbon and ecosystem sensitivity. At the end of each presentation, audiences asked questions and participated in discussions actively. Most of the participants considered that the seminar was very successful and they benefited a lot from the talks and presentations.
After the seminar, Prof. HAN Xingguo, honorary head of the Erguna station and Prof. WANG Zhengwen, the present head of the station, led the seminar participants around field experimental plots of the station and exchanged ideas with the visitors on site on scientific significance, experimental design and results of relevant experiments.
On July 14th, the seminar participants were organized to visit typical ecosystems of the Erguna Forest-Steppe Transition zone. Through the field trip, the visitors gained deeply insight into the diversity of ecosystem types, the flora characteristics and the landscape patterns in the area of Erguna. They expressed that they would like to conduct cooperative researches with Erguna station in a wider range of scientific fields. The convening of the seminar not only effectively promoted the academic exchanges between China and the United States, but also greatly promoted researches on extreme climatic ecology and global change ecology.