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Zhang X.L.,Inner Mongolia University | Wang L.X.,Inner Mongolia University | Wang L.X.,Sino Us Center For Conservation | Wang L.X.,University of Adelaide | And 7 more authors.
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2014

The emergent plants may differ in their capacity to assimilate nutrients from eutrophic water bodies, so the utilization of suitable emergent plants is the key part for successful restoration of shallow eutrophic lakes. This research applied the depletion method after plants were grown for 4 weeks in 1/ 8 Hoagland nutrient solution to study the kinetics of uptake of nutrient (H2PO- 4, NH+ 4, NO- 3) by the three emergent aquatic plants Phragmites australis, Typha orientalis and Scirpus triqueter dominated in the littoral zones of Wuliangsuhai Lake (40°36 '-41°03 ' N, 108°43 '- 108°57 'E), a shallow eutrophic lake located in Urat Front Banner of Bayannaoer city, Inner Mongolia. The maximum uptake rate (Imax), Michaelis-Menten constant (Km), and Minimum equilibrium concentration (Cmin) were estimated by the ion consumption dynamics equation. The Imax for H2PO- 4 of Phragmites australis, Typha orientalis, and Scirpus triqueter are 0.3895 μmol g-1 (dry weight, DW) h-1, 0.3053 μmol g-1 DW h-1, and 0.6330 μmol g-1 DW h-1, While the Km for H2 PO- 4 are 0.0637 mmol/L, 0.0645 mmol/ L, and 0.0702 mmol/ L, respectively. Results indicated that the Scirpus triqueter has a significantly higher uptake rate of H2 PO- 4 than Phragmites australis and Typha orientalis, but no differences have been found in the adaptation (tolerance) of the three species to low H2 PO- 4 concentrations. The Imax for NH+ 4 of Phragmites australis, Typha orientalis, and Scirpus triqueter are 8.995 μmol g-1DW h-1, 5.584 μmol g-1DW h-1, and 13.819 μmol g-1DW h-1, While the Km for NH+ 4 are 1.882 mmol/ L, 1.787 mmol/ L, and 1.874 mmol/ L, respectively. The Imax for NO- 3 of Phragmites australis, Typha orientalis, and Scirpus triqueter are 3.374 μmol g-1DW h-1, 2.544 μmol g-1DW h-1, and 10.146 μmol g-1 DW h-1, While the Km for NO- 3 are 0.924 mmol/ L, 0.884 mmol/ L, and 0.847 mmol/ L, respectively. Results indicated that Scirpus triqueter had also highest uptake rates of NH+ 4 and NO- 3, was tolerant to low NO- 3 concentrations but did not adapt to (tolerate) low NH+ 4 concentrations. By contrast, Typha orientalis dislayed the strongest affinity to NH+ 4 and the highest uptake at low NH+ 4 concentrations, which the Cmin is 1.724 mmol/ L lower than Phragmites australis (1.865 mmol/ L) and Scirpus triqueter (1.833 mmol/ L). Overall the three emergent plants showed higher uptake capacity for NH+ 4 than for NO- 3. Nutrient uptake characteristics of the emergent plants are species-specific and influenced by the structure of roots. Outcomes of this research suggest that Scirpus triqueter suits best as pioneering species for ecological restoration of water bodies with high NH+ 4 and NO- 3 concentrations, while Typha orientalis suits well for stabilizing improved water quality conditions.

Yang Y.,Inner Mongolia University | Niu J.,Inner Mongolia University | Niu J.,Sino Us Center For Conservation | Zhang Q.,Inner Mongolia University | Zhang Y.,Inner Mongolia University
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2011

Abstract: The development and testing of regional sustainable development indicators is an active research area. This study uses quantitative indicators to determine whether nature's ecological carrying capacity can satisfy the needs of humans. There are many quantitative measuring methods for sustainable development, but the ecological footprint analysis has a more widespread application. This method is used to calculate ecological footprints by looking at need and the ecological carrying capacity in terms of support, and study the use degree of humanity to natural. Using these results, the circumstances of an area or country's sustainable development may be established. Xilinguole League is located 111°59′-120°00′E and 42°32′-46°41'N. The total area is 201442 km 2, with a grassland area of 192000 km 2, and covers one-quarter grassland area of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. In this study we conducted an ecological footprint analysis of the Xilinguole League, using statistical data from 1981 to 2008. The computed ecological carrying capacity and its 30-year dynamics revealed the major development trends of this semi-arid grassland region. Our findings showed the following. (1) Rapid industrialization and urbanization altered the area's per capita ecological footprint dramatically. The area increased from 1. 0868 hm 2 in 1981 to 24. 2176 hm 2 in 2008, surpassing China's national average and that of other domestic grassland areas. The main driver of this increase was the rapid expansion of areas involved in the extraction of fossil fuels and other grassland uses. (2) Rapid population growth resulted in the decline of per capita ecological carrying capacity for this region, with grassland-cropland capacities being most affected. The total per capita ecological carrying capacity decreased from 3. 1565 hm 2 in 1981 to 2. 3915 hm 2 in 2008. (3) Development has been accompanied by a shift from a regional ecological surplus to an ecological deficit. Two factors are responsible for these conditions. First, since the 1990s, the domestic market has increased the demand for and taken advantage of local resources such as coal and other electric power generation sources. In addition, the area itself has experienced economic development, which has accelerated industrialization. This development has caused an increase in demand for energy use and living resources, further advancing urbanization. As a consequence, the ecological footprint has increased dramatically. Second, demand for livestock production has increased dramatically and has resulted in long-term over-grazing. In addition, many years of poor grassland management has damaged the grassland ecology and created a fragile environment. Grasslands in the area have become severely degraded, and ecological carrying capacity has declined. Moreover, industrialization and urban development, the growth of residential areas and transport routes, the takeover of grassland by industrial and mining areas, have all put extra stress on available grassland. The Xilinguole League development represents a massive increase in energy use and the severe ecological deficit of a semi-arid grassland area due to industrialization and urban development. However, because grasslands offer an important foundation for economic development, their degradation may compromise the region's sustainability. Scientific research is vitally important to find a balance between industrialization and urbanization incentives and the sustainable management of natural resources.

Qiana G.,Inner Mongolia University | Qiana G.,Sino Us Center For Conservation | Guoa X.,Inner Mongolia University | Guoa X.,Sino Us Center For Conservation | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology | Year: 2011

The dairy industry is an important part of the global economy, and the rapidly developing dairy enterprises in China have become increasingly important to the rest of the world. Due to increasing demand for dairy products and support from the government, China's dairy industry has thrived in recent decades. But rapid growth has been accompanied by a suite of industry/structural problems associated with raw milk supply, processing enterprises, product retailing and profit allocation. Thus, a major dairy crisis took place in 2008, triggered by a notorious melamine-contaminated milk event. The dairy crisis has had devastating impacts on China's dairy industry, negatively affecting farmers, consumers, processing enterprises and even government agencies. The Chinese government has developed rigorous measures to prevent future incidents of this sort, including the enactment of the Food Safety Law and reinstatement of the no-exemption quality inspection of food products. In this paper, we analyse the wide-ranging impacts and root causes of the recent dairy crisis in China. We also examine how the crisis has been handled and what measures have been put in place in its aftermath. Then we discuss policy implications for promoting the sustainability of China's dairy industry. Lessons learned from this crisis, as well as implications for policy improvements, should be valuable for the development of a sustainable dairy industry in other regions of the world. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Qian G.-X.,Inner Mongolia University | Qian G.-X.,Sino Us Center For Conservation | Zhang Y.-P.,Inner Mongolia University | Wu J.-G.,Sino Us Center For Conservation | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Integrative Agriculture | Year: 2013

Dairy industry has become an increasingly important enterprise in China as people's dietary preferences and composition have changed dramatically with rapid economic development in the past several decades. A number of problems, however, exist in China's relatively young dairy industry, including the imbalanced allocation of profits throughout the dairy supply chain. One of the root causes of the melamine infant powered milk scandal in 2008 was the unfair profit allocation mechanism in dairy supply chain. The revenue sharing contract approach has proven to be effective in generating market shares and total profits. In this study, we apply the three-stage revenue sharing contract model of Giannoccaro and Pontrandolfo (2004) in an analysis of dairy supply chain to explore its problems in profit allocation and possible solutions to them. The analysis was conducted by a case study of Hohhot, often called as "milk capital of China". Our results show that the current profit distribution in the dairy supply chain is not balanced: the supermarket's profit>farmer's profit>manufacturer's profit. Under the revenue sharing contract setting, the dairy industry's total profit increased by 12.49%. By exploring different parameters in the revenue sharing contract model, we have found that a win-win situation can be created among all the members of the supply chain. In dairy supply chain, the ratio of the revenue reserved for the supermarket itself is equal or greater than 47% and the ratio of the revenue reserved for the manufacturer itself is between 46.4 and 50.2%. The values of the parameters that generate a sustainable or win-win situation are related to the bargaining position in the dairy supply chain. The revenue sharing contract has proven to be effective and desirable by all the dairy chain partners in dairy supply chain. The results of this study provide relevant information for improving the dairy supply chain structure and the revenue sharing contract model can be applied to other industries, sectors and regions. © 2013 Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Li J.-Y.,Inner Mongolia University | Du R.-F.,Inner Mongolia University | Wu L.-H.,Inner Mongolia University | Yu J.-L.,Inner Mongolia University | And 3 more authors.
Chinese Journal of Ecology | Year: 2014

The aim of this study is to investigate soil ammonia-oxidizing bacterial community composition' abundance' phylogenetic relationship and diversity under different plant communities formed in the evolution process of eutrophic inland lake Wuliangsuhai' and to discuss the impacts of soil physicochemical factors on ammonia-oxidizing bacterial community structure. The total DNA was extracted and a clone library was constructed based on amoA gene in order to analyze ammonia-oxidizing bacterial community composition' abundance' phylogenetic relationship and diversity index. Soil substrate conditions were analyzed to assess their effects on ammonia-oxidizing bacterial community composition. The similarity of ammonia-oxidizing bacterial community composition gradually decreased from eutrophic lake sediments to desertification soil. The dominant species significantly changed from the Nitrosomonas-like group to the Nitrosos ira-like group. Correlation analysis indicated that the combination of total nitrogen and total water soluble salt had the most significant effect on the ammonia-oxidizing bacterial community structure' and the correlation coefficient was 0. 943. The diversity index showed that reed swamp and Nitraria tangutorum desert soil were more suitable for diverse ammonia-oxidizing bacteria to grow. Ammonia-oxidizing bacterial diversity and dominant species changed significantly in the transition zone between wetland sediment and desert soil. Total nitrogen and total water soluble salt are the major environmental factors influencing spatial heterogeneity of ammonia-oxidizing bacterial community composition. © 2014, Editorial Board of Chinese Journal of Ecology. All rights reserved.

Yang C.,Inner Mongolia University | Wang W.,Inner Mongolia University | Wang S.,CAS Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research | Liang C.,Inner Mongolia University | And 3 more authors.
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2013

The Xilinggol steppe is one of the four biggest grasslands in China, and is representative of the semi-arid grasslands in Asia. To discover whether the initial state (6 years previously) of various degraded grassland communities has had an effect on recovery of these communities and in what way this effect is evidenced, research was undertaken on vegetation that has undergone 6 years of recovery through non-grazing, after varying degrees of degradation under different grazing rates. The experimental study site is in the middle reaches of the Xilin River, 500 meters west of the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, from 43°26′-44°08′N and 116°04′-117°05′E. The following is the general situation of the surveyed land. The grazing experiment at the study site began in summer 1989. The sample plot is degraded grassland, in which Artemisia frigida and small grasses dominate, and the experimental grazing animal was sheep. There are 6 conditions, including five different stocking rates (1. 33, 2. 67, 4. 00, 5. 33 and 6.67 sheep/ hm2) and a non-grazing control. Having been grazed at various rates for 16 years through 2005, the structure and function of the ecological system (plant community, soil physical and chemical properties) have experienced significant changes. Grassland ecological systems are in different degrees of degradation. To examine the recovery process of such grassland ecological systems after suspension of grazing, the grazing experiment was stopped in 2005. By 2011, the grassland ecosystems had recovered to their natural state. Investigation and sampling were conducted in August 2011. In recent years, under the influence of high use and adverse natural factors, the majority of the Inner Mongolian steppe has been in a state of degradation. In order to facilitate recovery of the degraded grasslands, the present research was conducted on a typical steppe at Baiyinxile Ranch in Xilinggol. The author analyzed a series of indicators of the state of various grassland communities (each after 6 years of natural recovery), which include plant community composition, aboveground biomass, plant height, internode length, main species leaf length, leaf width, soil compactness, and soil bulk density. The findings suggest that: 1) After 6 years of non-grazed recovery, communities of different stocking rates have changed their community type, and the communities tend to be consistent. 2) Initial successional stages have no significant effect on aboveground biomass recovery when the stocking rate is less than 5. 33 sheep/ hm2; however, if the stocking rate is more than 5. 33 sheep/hm2, the initial successional stages lead to a decrease in current biomass. In other words, a higher stocking rate is unfavorable to the recovery of grassland. 3) Individual plant characteristics of communities at different grazing rates tend to be consistent, and the individual miniaturization phenomenon disappear. At the same time, this shows that even though the starting point of community recovery and succession is variable, the normalization time is nearly constant. 4) After 6 years of recovery, the soil compactness and bulk density of communities with different grazing rates did not fully recover, but tended to be consistent.

Cha N.,Inner Mongolia University | Cha N.,Sino Us Center For Conservation | Wu J.,Sino Us Center For Conservation | Wu J.,Arizona State University | Yu R.,Inner Mongolia University
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2013

For nearly forty years, the concepts, theories, and methods of sustainable development have continued to develop, and become one of the key issues that concern today's society around the world. In order to get a sense of how research on sustainable development has evolved in different disciplines, we carried out a cross-database search of published articles with keywords of "ecology", "economics", "sociology"and "sustainable development", using the CNKI network platform. Search results from 1995 to 2011 from six databases were then analyzed to identify research trends and directions. Our results indicate that sustainable development research in ecology, economics, and social science all has become increasingly interdisciplinary, integrative, multi-dimensional, multi-scaled, and quantitative. Ecology highlights research method.

Qin S.,Inner Mongolia University | Chao L.M.,Inner Mongolia University | Chao L.M.,Sino Us Center For Conservation
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2014

Tetraena mongolica Maxim.belongs to a monotypic genus in the Zygophyllaceae and is a super xerophyte and a relic sub-shrub of the Tethys.This species is endemic to a very limited area of West Erods region in the western part of the Ordos Plateau in China.The limited distribution of this sub-shrub makes it an important conservation target.It is ranked as a second-class national endangered plant species as defined by China忆 s Red Book (endangered species list) and has been considered unique from both a plant taxonomical and regional systematics points of view.Also,from a practical stand point, it plays an important role as a windbreaker and stabilizer of sand and contributes to soil conservation and the regulation of hydrological regimes. Populations of T. mongolica serve as an important element in ecosystem functioning and buffer local ecosystems against desertification. Deterioration of the environment and anthropogenic disturbance in recent years have resulted in a high degree of landscape fragmentation and habitat loss in the area.As a result,population size and density of T.mongolica have been decreasing dramatically. T. mongolica has become severely endangered. Anthropogenic disturbance caused by the industrial development and rapid urbanization were direct reasons for the T. mongolica population area reduction and landscape pattern change. So research on the anthropogenic disturbance of this species has attracted attention. Landscape is a heterogeneous area composed of many ecosystems. The different process on landscape scale has decisive effects on the formation of landscape pattern. Correspondingly, the pattern that has already formed controls the basic processes of landscape. The relationship between anthropogenic disturbance, pattern and process has become a research focus which landscape ecology is interested in. A comparative analysis in anthropogenic disturbance of T. mongolica is ecologically important and will help document the threats to T. mongolica and offer a scientific basis for establishing protective measures for this species. The present study explored the association of T. mongolica distribution with anthropogenic disturbance in Wuhai city. With the support of the geographical information system technology and the analysis software of landscape pattern, quick bird high-resolution images and community field survey data of T. mongolica were used to investigate the distribution of T. mongolica. The Result indicates: Be closer to urban area or anthropogenic disturbance from mining, the T. mongolica landscape gets involved in more terrible situation by the increase of anthropogenic disturbance. Moreover, under the influence of anthropogenic disturbance, the canopy size of T. mongolica will decrease and the height of T.mongolica tends to decrease as well. In case of located in those regions where may generate significant strong anthropogenic disturbance, the species richness index and biodiversity are lower than which from other areas.When the anthropogenic disturbance changes, Pielou evenness index typically stays between 0. 77 and 0. 90. It is indicated that the industrial development and rapid urban expansion caused by irrational land use were direct reasons for the T.mongolica population area reduction and landscape pattern change of the research region. © 2014, Science Press. All rights reserved.

Kang S.L.,Inner Mongolia University | Niu J.M.,Inner Mongolia University | Niu J.M.,Sino Us Center For Conservation | Zhang Q.,Inner Mongolia University | And 3 more authors.
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2014

Coal has been the primary energy resource that made rapid economic and social development in China possible. Yet, its extraction in the form of open-field mining operations changed landscape patterns considerably and created a suite of environmental and ecological problems. Therefore, it is very important to understand these landscape pattern dynamics and their effects on ecosystem processes. While open pit coal mining is one of the fast growing human modifications of the Earth's surface which transforms landscapes and ecological functioning, studies in applied ecology and restoration ecology examining the effects of this human activities have been lacking. We conducted a field study in the 10 km buffer around the landscape of ZhunggerHeidaigou ecosystem in Inner Mongolia where large open mine operations are presently underway. Within this landscape land use/ land cover changed substantially between 1987 and 2010. We related these human transformed landscape patterns to primary productivity and found the relationship to be highly scale dependent. Our results are summarized as follows. First, the 10 km buffer was found to be the optimum size of this study area, although we seek expanding the scale domain of our study because the size of the mining area is expected to increase. Second, grassland andagricultural areas, the two main land uses that preceded coal mining, have both decreased in the past 20 years. Grassland area decreased from 71.18% (45 199.73 hm2) in 1987 to 60.71% (38 550.76 hm2) in 2010,while agricultural area decreased from 25.76% (16 360.24 hm2) in 1987 to 20.48% (13 002.40 hm2) in 2010. On the other hand, industrial and residentialareas increased between 1987 and 2010. Particularly, mining operations occupied only 0.01% (3.12 hm2) in 1987, but increased to3.16% (2 007.04 hm2) in 2000, which corresponds to 10.05% (6 385.04 hm2) in 2010, respectively. Third, although landscape structure in the area has experienced overall consistent trend of change dynamics of landscape pattern at later stages were very different at two spatial scales-the scale of the mining area and the whole landscape. The number of introduced and disturbance patches increased at the expense of dominant resource patches, which resulted in severe landscape fragmentation. At the fine scale, previously dominant grassland patches characterized by higher pattern complexity and irregular shapes were replaced by simpler and more regular patches of coal mining operations and accompanying infrastructures. Fourth, primary productivity in the landscape as a whole and mining area in particular decreased with time since mining operations started. Areas affected by mining experienced more significant decrease of primary productivity. Partial correlation analysis of landscape patterns and primary productivity, with growing season precipitation as the controlling factor, showed that primary productivity was positively correlated with landscape configuration landscape pattern indices(perimeter-area ratio average, PARA; landscape shape index, LSI), especially at the whole landscape level. Primary productivity was negatively correlated with landscape composition indices (patch density, PD; shannon -weaver diversity index, SHDI; and shannon evenness index, SHEI) in the mining area. We conclude that vegetation restoration cannot change the relationship between landscape patterns and primary productivity at the large scale because of current limitations of available areas and long term successions. We believe the success of restoration of damaged ecosystems in the study area is heavily dependent upon the realization of the importance of natural ecosystems.

Xu P.Y.,Inner Mongolia University | Niu J.,Inner Mongolia University | Niu J.,Sino Us Center For Conservation | Buyantuyev A.,Albany State University | And 2 more authors.
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2014

Urbanization profoundly affects ecological processes across many scales. Most such effects are primarily due to land use / cover transformations. At the local scale proliferation of impervious surfaces and decreases in vegetation cover in cities have led to phenological differences between urban and rural areas. In this study, we monitored spring phenology of Populus alba L.var. pyramidalis Bunge, P. cathayana Rehd and P. tomentosa Carr. at multiple sites across the urban core and in the surrounding rural areas of Hohhot city, Inner Mongolia. Urban sites were established mainly along streets, in city parks and schools. Rural sites occupied different natural localities in suburbs characterized by significant distance from the urban core and relatively low human disturbance. Spring phenophases we monitored include leaf budburst (BL), first full leaf (L1), and unfolding of ≥ 50% leaves ( LU). We simultaneously measured air temperature at each site using Thermochron® DS-1921G (±1 °C accuracy, 0.5 °C precision) data loggers which collected data between late March (Day of Year (DOY) = 88) and late November(DOY = 330) during two growing seasons. Land use/ cover patterns were analyzed by digitizing green spaces (including trees, manicured lawns, grasses, and agriculture), bare soil (unpaved areas), water (lakes, rivers) and pavements in the 300 m circular buffer around each site. Proportions of each cover type at each site were used as explanatory variables for observed patterns of temperature and phenology. Correlations and regression analyses were performed using SPSS 17.0. Our findings suggest the following conclusions. 1) The timing of leaf budburst (BL), first full leaf (L1) and unfolding of ≥ 50% leaves (LU) phenophases were best predicted by mean daily temperature, minimum daily temperature and Growing degree days temperature that above 5 degree centigrade (GDD5) of April prior to the initiation of each phenophase. However, the relationship between the three phenophases and maximum daily temperature of April were positively correlated; 2) Among the four land use/ cover types, green spaces together with bare soil were negatively related to the mean daily temperature, GDD5, and minimum daily temperature of April to June. We found high positive correlation between paved areas and all temperature variables. 3) Green spaces together with water were negatively correlated with the first full leaf (L1) phenophase, while paved areas had positive correlations with L1. Differences in land use/ cover were clearly were reinforced by distinct mean daily temperature and GDD5. We conclude that rural to urban land use/ cover pattern transition in general advances spring phenophases by significantly increasing temperature, the primary environmental driver of phenology. Our study of the rapidly urbanizing area of Inner Mongolia provides important information for scientists and practitioners engaged in understanding effects of urbanization on environmental and human health. © 2014, Science Press. All rights reserved.

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