Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have launched a major project to combat desertification in the southern edge of the Horqin Sandy Land, one of the largest sandlands in China. The project aims to support the national campaign to eradicate the Horqin and Hunshandake sandy lands, which are key ecological barriers for northern and northeastern China.
The project, led by the Institute of Applied Ecology of CAS, will focus on five research topics: the comprehensive study of desertification and the evolution of major ecosystems and their driving mechanisms, the coordinated management of arid and semiarid ecological systems that highly rely on water resources, the enhancement of sand prevention and control functions of sand-fixing vegetation, the erosion prevention of farmland ecosystems, and the integrated demonstration of desertification management.
The project’s chief scientist, Professor ZHU Jiaojun, said that the project will be a “frontier battle” for the sandy land control engineering in northern China.
The research results will directly serve the sandland eradication campaign in the Horqin and Hunshandake sandy lands, as well as improve the stability and function of the ecosystems in the southern edge of the Horqin Sandy Land, effectively improve the ecological & environmental quality in this area, create a new industry-academia-government cooperation model supporting ecological agriculture company for sand prevention and sandy land control, increase the income of local farmers, and achieve a win-win situation for ecological, economic and society benefits.
The project has received expert support from several relevant government departments, institutes and universities, such as the Ecological Construction Engineering Management Center, Northwest Northeast North China Shelterbelt Construction Bureau under National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA), Liaoning Academy of Agricultural Sciences (LAAS), Shenyang Agricultural University (SAU), Northeastern University (NEU) and others.