This book provides a comprehensive overview of grassland ecosystems based on publications by Chinese scholars. It offers an up-to-date review of the recent advances in grassland research in China, discusses the climatic and physical conditions governing the grasslands, describes their types and distribution, and introduces a new classification scheme for grassland ecosystems. Further, it details the plant, animal, and microbial compositions of each grassland ecosystem type, examining the above and below ground relationships between phytomass, vegetation succession, and past/current management practices with a particular focus on the steppes in China. It also includes references that are only available in the Chinese language.
This scientifically rigorous book offers insights into knowledge gaps for the scientific community and identifies pressing issues facing practitioners of grassland ecology and management. It can be used as a textbook for undergraduate and graduate students in ecology, environmental science, natural resource management, agriculture, and other relevant fields, and is also a valuable reference resource for researchers studying drylands in China or around the globe.
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Overview of the Chinese grassland ecosystems
Chapter 3. Natural conditions
Chapter 4. Major regional grasslands in China
Chapter 5. Type and distribution of the Chinese grassland ecosystems
Chapter 6. Meadow steppe ecosystem
Chapter 7. Typical steppe ecosystem
Chapter 8. Desert steppe ecosystem
Chapter 9. Alpine steppe ecosystem
Chapter 10. Montane steppe ecosystem
Chapter 11. Shrub Steppe Ecosystem
Chapter 12. Sandy grassland ecosystem
Chapter 13. Desert Rangeland Ecosystem
Chapter 14. Meadows
Chapter 15. Marsh Grassland Ecosystem
Chapter 16. Tussock Grassland Ecosystem
Dr Linghao Li is a Professor of Ecology at the Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on vegetation ecology, grassland ecosystem ecology, and restoration ecology, and covers ecological topics such as carbon and nitrogen cycling of terrestrial ecosystems, nutrient use efficiency of grassland plants, and plant root ecology. He received his B. S. from Inner Mongolia Agricultural University in 1986 and PhD from Xiamen University in 1994. He established the Duolun Restoration Ecology Research Station in 2000 and served as the director until 2016. The station is among the most outstanding field research bases of grassland ecology in the world, from which more than 600 research papers have been published in high-profile journals, such as Ecology, Ecology Letters, Global Change Biology, and Journal of Ecology, and others. He has made significant efforts in bringing the achievements of Chinese scholars to the world through English copy-writing and editing of important national monographs such as Vegetation of China, Soils of China, and Tibetan Grasslands.
Dr Jiquan Chen received his PhD in Ecosystem Analysis from the University of Washington in 1991 and is currently a professor at Michigan State University. He was a Bullard Fellow at Harvard University and on the faculty of University of Washington, Michigan Technological University, and the University of Toledo. His research and education on grassland ecosystems were rooted in his undergraduate training at Inner Mongolia University (1979-1983) and long term research on the Mongolian Plateau. He has also conducted research on edge effects in fragmented landscapes, 3D canopy of forests, ecosystem carbon/water/energy fluxes using tower and chambers, riparian zone management, agricultural and bioenergy crops, grassland (rangeland) ecology, dynamics of urban systems, and the role of institution in shaping landscape-regions under the changing globe. He is a fellow of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has served as the Editor-in-Chief for Ecological Processes since 2016, part of the editorial board of over a dozen professional journals, and co-editor for the book series of Landscape Studies for Springer. He has authored and co-authored over 400 journal papers and 11 books.
Dr Wenhao Zhang is a Professor of Eco-physiology at the Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received his Ph. D from the Department of Biology at the University of Newcastle in 1993. His research concerns principally plant nutrition physiology, plant ecology, and grassland management, on which over 100 journal papers have been published, with several of these having been selected as the highly cited papers of ESI. He is the Editor-in-Chief for Journal of Plant Ecology, being the editors for New Phytologist, Journal of Experimental Botany, BMC Plant Biology, and Environmental and Experimental Botany.
Dr Xingguo Han is a Professor of Ecology at the Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he had served as the director of the Institute for eight years. He received his PhD in Fundamental Ecology from the University of Georgia, and thus his research covers a rather wide range of ecological subjects, including soil ecology, biogeochemical cycles of terrestrial ecosystems, ecosystem functions of grasslands, restoration ecology, biodiversity conservation, and global change ecology, and so forth. He had been the chairman of the Chinese Botanical Society, vice-chairman of the Ecological Society of China, and the regional councillor of the IUCN. He has authored or co-authored over 500 journal papers and 6 books, quite a few of which got published in Nature, Science, and top journals of ecology.
Dr Changliang Shao is a Professor of Ecology at the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He got his PhD from the Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences under the supervision of Dr Linghao Li. He conducted his post-doctoral research work at Michigan State University, with Dr Jiquan Chen being his mentor. His research lies in the coupled effects of global climate change and human activities on bioenergy and carbon/water fluxes of terrestrial ecosystems.