Dynamics and Manipulation of the Processes in Subtropical Agro-ecosystems
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This theme research  mainly   concentrates on field monitoring on climate, soil, water, crop production, and management, economy and bio-diversity parameters in the typical agro-ecosystems in the hilly and Karst areas of the subtropical regions of China, the   spatial   patterns and eco-functions of the agro-ecosystems with sustainable management, the cycling of soil organic C   and nutrient cycling,   remediation and restoration of degraded farming ecosystems, model development  of  sustainable   agro-ecosystems   in   the areas. Two   research teams for soil ecology and regional agro-ecology and two field experimental stations (i.e., Taoyuan Station and Huanjiang Station) are working in this theme.

Staff members

Leading scientists in this centre are   Professor Wu Jinshui, Professor Kelin Wang and Professor Wenxue Wei. There are totally 11 professors, 9 associate professors and 11 research assistants, and 50 postgraduates.

Projects

During the last five years, 24 research projects with total funding of 18 M (¥) have been completed, including 7 projects (¥8 M) funded from the Natural   Science Fundation of China and the Ministry of Science and Technology, 8 projects(¥ 9 M) from CASas the priority areas of CAS Knowledge Innovation Plan.

Achievement

During the last five years, a series  of biochemistry  methods  have been   developed to quantify processes in the cycling of organic C, N, and P in soil, with microbial   approach   developed to activate P in highly weathered soil (with strong P-fixing capacity). A model to   simulate   the processes in the cycling of organic C and N in subtropical agro-ecosystems has been developed and also used to predict the long-term change of SOC in the region. Spatial distribution and model simulation   of nutrient  balance (mainly N and P) in   various   ecosystems of the subtropical regions in China have been quantified in typical landscapes of the lowland, hilly and Karst areas. Shift incorporation of rice straw in hilly upland soil has been successfully developed as key approaches to promote the fertility of highly weathered subtropical soil and the   productivity   of the major upland crops and has been applied in many areas in the subtropical regions of China.

Following over 13-year multidisciplinary  studies, with intense   monitoring   of land use, soil erosion, ecology degradation, vegetation rehabilitation, crop   productivities, environmental  and   social-economic impacts in various sites with different land types of the Karst areas, applied models with complete technological systems of integrated agricultural systems (grain crop   and  cash   crops, fruits, food, cash and feedstock forestry, and animal production) with vegetation rehabilitation have been   developed  for the   Karst   mountainous area, and successfully applied for land use planning and demonstrations in Guangxi, with 40% of the land belonging to Karst landscapes.