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The Research Team in the Institute of Applied Ecology won the Science ﹠ Technology for Development Award

A list of winners for the 2016 Science & Technology for Development Award was issued by the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS). The research team of “Research and demonstration on the technologies for conservation of forest resources and utilization of non-wood resources in montane regions of Liaoning Province, China” led by Prof. ZHU Jiaojun in the Institute of Applied Ecology (IAE), CAS is on the list. This is the first time in IAE.

The forest belt in Northeast China is of great importance in the regional strategy for ecological safety. In order to restore natural forests, the commercial felling has been prohibited. Therefore, the local economic development encountered a problem, i.e., how to recover or promote the ecological function of forests, as well as to simultaneously sustain economic development to meet the need in construction of ecological civilization.

Based on this national demands and relying on the Qingyuan Forest, CERN, the research team carried out a long-term locating research and practice, and got following results: 1) The team provide the new method for quantifying stand structure. The team propose the concept of Optical Stratification Porosity (OSP), and quantify the OSP with hemispherical images. By using the OSP, the vertical structure of forest stand can be defined precisely. Consequently, the stand structure can be modified or implemented well and truly to promote the successful regeneration of dominant tree species, e.g., Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) under canopy. Additionally, the survival and growth rates of Panax ginseng under forest canopy are improved because of the precise OSP control. 2) The accurate and simple method for determining the parameters of three- dimensional structure (i.e., gap size, gap shape and tree height surrounding the gap) of forest gap has been established, which makes the Gap Light Index (GLI) to be obtained easily. The whole process of gap regeneration including soil seed bank, seedling bank, gap-dependent species, coexistence mechanism of species, etc. has been confirmed with the help of GLI. The techniques of gap regeneration have been summarized to promote the successful regeneration of Korean pine and Mongolian oak (Quercus mongolica) in gaps. At the same time, the production of wild vegetables under forest canopy can be improved by using GLI to control the light condition. On this basis, the team move the wild vegetables into nursery for expanding their production. 3) The team identify that the litter removed by the local people, and the mono-littler are the major causes inducing the low service ability of water conservation forests. The corresponding improvement measures, i.e., protecting the litter and promoting regeneration to culture the pure forests into mixed species forests by intense thinning, have been put forward. The water conservation function of forests after conducting the measures has been improved significantly. The improvement of water conservation function increases the survival rate of Rana chensinensis breeding under the forest canopy.

The technology service system of forest conservation and resource utilization characterized by the combination of government, scientists, enterprise and cooperative has been built. Based on this system, about 100 items of rural practical technologies have been generalized, more than 2380 technical personnel have been trained. In addition, more than 100,000 copies of technological materials have been distributed to the local forest farmers, and 36 thousand households of forest farmers have been motivated.

Within the recent three years, the technologies for conservation of forest resources have been applied in the montane regions of eastern Liaoning Province for total of 0.12 million ha. These technologies have been also radiated to the nine forestry bureaus in the forest regions of Northeast China with a total area of 0.36 million ha. There have been 1030 million RMB of the ecological and economic benefits in these applied regions. The comprehensive utilization technologies of forest resources have been generalized to establish the demonstration bases of Panax ginseng under forest canopy, wild vegetables and Rana chensinensis breeding with area of 2230 ha.

The Science & Technology for Development Award is established to promote science and technology research for facing the major national demands and facing the major battle field of national economy. CAS also encourages research teams to make important contributions to the developments of economy and society, as well as to the improvements in public welfare. Ten teams won this award in 2016.


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