Degradation and Restoration Mechanism and Health Assessment of Grasslands in Northern China

By LZU | 01/11/2012 17:32:36 | Views ()

Project Title: Degradation and Restoration Mechanism and Health Assessment of Grasslands in Northern China

Primarily Achieved by: Nan Zhibiao, Ren Jizhou, Fu Hua, Zhou Zhiyu, Hou Fujiang, Zhang Zihe, Wang Yanrong, and Zhang Weiguo.

Completed Units: Lanzhou University

Award & Grade: The second-class National Prize for Progress in Science and Technology, P.R.China in 2008.

Brief Introduction to the Project:

Grasslands account for approximately 42 percent of China’s land area. Ninety percent of the grasslands are in a degraded condition with more than 1/3 being classified as heavily degraded. The degraded grassland poses a great threat to the nation’s ecological stability and food security. An index assessing the health of grasslands has been developed and then successfully applied to the case of the management of desert grasslands by local grassland departments. The work was evaluated by a review team headed by Academician Youxu Jiang and Wenhua Li. The outcome of the review was that “the grassland health assessment method has reached a world-leading level”. The dynamic interactions among soil, plants, microorganisms, livestock and rodents were illustrated within degraded grassland ecosystems. The positive and negative effects of grazing restrictions on grasslands were elucidated. The techniques of reasonably using and improving grasslands achieved by this project were put forward. Grassland productivity in the large demonstration areas was increased by 33% to 100%. These productivity gains are bringing the demonstration area grasslands to levels of productivity that are similar to developed countries. Integrated grassland farming systems were developed for cropping, pastoral and the transitional areas in northern China and implemented in large areas. The outcome of developing these integrated systems is that the total restored grassland area now covers 6.7% of total Chinese grassland area. Suggestions regarding the development of grassland agriculture have been submitted to the State Council, the Ministry of Agriculture, and related provinces (autonomous regions). These suggestions were approved, and supported by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao as well as ministerial and provincial (regional) leaders, and have subsequently been put into practice.


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