Pollution ecology research is focused on how environmental pollution originates, spreads and is controlled. Our Institute was one of the first to conduct research on pollution ecology, and has played an important role in the field of pollution ecology in China.
The major foci of pollution ecology research in our institute are as follows: (1) To reveal mechanisms and processes of pollution with respect to the movement, transformation, and fate of typical toxic pollutants in ecosystems; (2) To assess the ecological and human health risks created by pollutants in the environment; (3) To provide scientific basis and technical support for the control and remediation of environmental pollution. In response to the national demand to control environmental pollution, major research foci include the following:
1)Analysis of the mechanisms of pollution formation in regional environments: identifying the industrial sources, health effects, and steps to mitigate problems and restore ecological integrity;
2)Processes underlying ecological pollution in terms of the movement, transformation and fate of toxic pollutants at different scales in the soil-plant system;
3)Ecological risk assessment: assessment of processes contributing to eco-toxicological pollution, including criteria for damage assessment and molecular mechanisms underlying pollution dissemination;
4)Pollution control and environmental restoration: examination of technologies for the mitigation of pollution created by improper disposal of wastewater and solids in contaminated soils;
5)Circular economy and industrial ecology: improvement in the understanding of the processes involved in regional material recycling to achieve energy conservation and emission reductions in contributing to sustainable economic development.
Over the last 20 years the pollution ecology and environmental management team has participated in numerous national research projects including ‘973 Projects’, ‘863 Projects’, ‘Key Projects of NSFC’ and ‘Major Projects of CAS’. We have investigated the character of environmental pollution and the development of regulations for pollution control in northeast China; described the processes involved in the movement, transformation and ultimate fate of typical pollutants such as As, Cd and PAHs in the soil-plant system; conducted research on eco-toxicological effects and environmental health risks of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn), persistent toxic pollutants (PAHs, PCBs, organo-chlorine pesticides) and emerging pollutants; proposed a new method for risk assessment of biomarkers and their diagnosis; explored the processes of ecological pollution and control in high latitude areas; established environmental restoration and pollution control systems suitable for North China; proposed a development model and evaluation method for the regional circular economy; and assessed the driving factors of Chinese carbon emissions and introduced counter measures for their reduction. The aforementioned research efforts have helped to enrich the theory and practice of pollution ecology.