China National Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Agriculture on the Loess Plateau was established in 1989 at the Institute of Soil and Water Conservation (ISWC), Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) and Ministry of Water Resources (MWR). It was approved by CAS to open to scientists both at home and abroad in 1993.The laboratory is one of top institutions in China for fundamental research on soil erosion and dryland agriculture.
The major issues concerned are to control soil erosion, to increase productivity of dryland agriculture, and to improve the environment on the Loess Plateau. Its main emphases are focused on soil erosion processes, soil erosion mechanism and prediction, crop physio--ecology in the eroded enviro-nment; soil water and nutrient balance and cycling; comprehensive approa-ches to control soil erosion and incr-ease crop productivity, and the development of new fields in soil erosion and dryland agriculture. Its goal is to improve the environment on the Loess Plateau, to establish a sustain-able system of agriculture development, and to reduce sediment in the Yellow River.
.Soil erosion processes and mecha-nism and their relations with soil environm-ent quality and human activities.
.Soil erosion models and principles for the implementation of soil and water conse-rvation practices.
.Mechanism of soil degradation associated with soil erosion and soil degradation control.
.Improvement of the environment degraded by soil erosion and the balance and cycling of soil water and nutrient in farming-forest-grassland ecosystems.
.Adoption of crops and forage grasses to drought stress and approaches to increase their tolerance to drought.
.Theories and models of comprehen-sive improvement of the environment and crop productivity growth.
.New methods and techniques for the research on soil erosion and dryland agriculture.
There are 26 staff members in the laboratory, including 16 faculty members. The laboratory has capacity to hold 26 visiting scientists. Dr. Shao Mingan, a research professor, is appointed to serve the laboratory as the director by CAS.
There is an independent acade-mic committee in this laboratory. The commit-tee includes 17 outstan-ding scientists in related fields. Five of them are academicians. They are Drs. Shan Lun, Shi Yulin, Shen Yungang, Liu Changming, and Zhao Qiguo. Nine of them are professors. They are Ma Ainai, Wang Gang, Wang Wenyan, Tian Junliang, Li Yushan, Shen Guoyi, Shao Mingan, Tang Keli, and Kang Shaozhong. Three of them are foreign scientists. They are Drs. R. Horton (USA), D. Norton (USA), and N. C. Turner (Australia). Academician Shan Lun is appointed as the chairman of the committee by CAS.
The laboratory has its own science foundation for fundamental research in the related areas. The foundation provides Financial support both to Chinese and foreign scientists if their applications are approved by the academic committee. Scientists are welcome to the laboratory for collaborative research on related areas. Scientists who have their own funds are also encouraged to carry out their research in this laboratory by using the laboratory equipment and facilities. All scientists who are conducting their research in this laboratory have privilege to participate national and international academic activities as a member of the laboratory and this laboratory possibly provides partial financial support for the activities depending on the budget.
EQUIPMENT AND INSTRUMENTS
This laboratory is equipped with modern instruments and facilities, such as GIS supported with computer workstations, remote sensing image and interpretation system, inductively coupled plasma quanto-meter, atomic absorption spectrometer, mass spectrometer, polarising microscope with image analysis system, x-ray particle size analyzer, plant growth chambers. Moreover, the rainfall simulation hall (the second largest one in the world), soil water and nutrient simulation halls make the laboratory run related experiments efficiently and conveniently. In addition, scientists in this laboratory have accesses to use all facilities in Ziwuling Soil Erosion Research Station and the three experimental stations of ISWC they are located at Ansai, Changwu, and Guyuan
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