Research Facilities and International Collaboration
Research related to forest ecology and management relies on the National Key Laboratory of Forest and Soil Ecology, the Changbai Mountain Forest Ecosystem Research Station, the Huitong Forest Ecological Research Station, the Qingyuan Forest Ecosystem Research Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Grand Green Valley Sandland Ecosystem Research Station of IAE, the Desertification Research Experiment Station in Ulanaodu and the Shenyang Ecological Arboretum. Major scientific research platforms in natural forests include: (1) A large fixed plot with a total area of more than 40 ha for monitoring and research of natural forest biodiversity in the Changbai Mountain (including 25 ha of mixed broadleaf Korean pine and some auxiliary sample plots of 1–5 ha); (2) Research platform for experiments related to global climate change; (3) A forest hydrology simulation laboratory that can carry out experiments on small-scale hydrological processes; and (4) Thirty experimental plots for forest management and sampling, with each plot covering a fixed monitoring sample area of one ha.
The major scientific research platforms for plantation forests include: (1) 56 sample plots in plantation forests varying in tree species and age classes, with long-term treatments such as mixed species plantation, fertilization, harvesting, litter addition and removal, and thinning, and pruning. The entire area covers 60 ha; and (2) Fixed sample plots of plantation forests for sand-fixation with different forest ages and cultivation patterns since 1975.
Our research team maintains a close cooperative relationship with numerous universities and academic institutes around the world,
(1) We obtained joint funding of $750,000 from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the National Science Foundation of United States to investigate natural forest biodiversity and its sustainability, utilizing the biodiversity monitoring site in the Changbai Mountain. We also obtained 1.2 million yuan from the Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) and the National Foundation Cooperation across the Taiwan Straits Exchange Program in Taiwan, which was used for exchange visits and academic communications. Results of research from these cooperative efforts have been published in major international journals such as the Journal of Ecology, Ecography, and Oecologia. In addition, the experimental site in the Changbai Mountain has become an important location for the World Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network in temperate regions.
(2) We have collaborated with Purdue University and the University of Illinois in research on carbon sequestration potentials in terrestrial ecosystems. Results have been published in international journals such as Environmental Management, Annals of Forest Science, and Forest Ecology and Management. Currently, our carbon flux observation platform has become an important part of the research network of ChinaFlux and AsiaFlux, which further enhances the international influence of our team.
(3) With respect to the structure and function of artificial forest ecosystems, we have collaborated with the University of California, the USDA Forest Service, and the University of Idaho. Results of our research have been published in international journals such as Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Applied Soil Ecology, and Forest Ecology and Management. In addition, the Huitong Forest Ecosystem Research Station has joined the research program for Long-Term Forest Soil Productivity (LTSP) of the USDA Forest Service.
The Forest Landscape Process and Control Research Group operates the platform of the State Key Laboratory of Forest and Soil Ecology, which is equipped with remote sensing image processing software including ERDAS 9.3, ERMAPPER 5.5, and EVNI 4.5; GIS software including ArcGIS 10.0 and ArcView 3.3; landscape analysis software FRAGSTATS 3.3; spatial statistical software including PC-ORG, R, and SAS; the LANDIS PRO 7.0 forest landscape model; and the LINKAGES II 2.2 ecosystem process model. These tools support the analysis needs for studying forest landscape structure, function, and dynamics. The research group collaborates closely with scientists from the USDA Forest Service, the University of Missouri, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Nevada. Scientists from our group have organized the Joint Sino-U.S. Forest Fire Interest Group. This latter group has attracted top international forest fire ecologists and decision makers from both governments. Scientists, managers, and graduate students from both countries exchange ideas and findings with respect to forest fire research and management, and engage in joint research programs. Dr. Louis Iverson, a landscape ecologist from USDA Forest Service, Dr. Robert Keane, a fire ecologist, and Dr. He co-edited a special issue of ‘Theories and Applications of Forest Landscape Modeling’ in Forest Ecology and Management that was published in 2008. Dr. He and Dr. Stephen Shifley, an expert on forest management from the USDA Forest Service, and Dr. Frank Thompson, a wildlife ecologist from the USDA Forest Service, co-edited a special issue on ‘Contemporary Issues of Forest Research and Management in China’ for Environmental Management, published in 2011. On three occasions, scientists from our group served as organizers for the forest landscape modeling symposium as part of the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and a conference organized by the International Association of Landscape Ecology.