The Lhasa Plateau Ecological Research Station is a scientific institution belonging to The Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Station′s mission is: 1) to monitor long-term ecological and environmental factors of agricultural ecosystems in the Yarlungzangbo Watershed; 2) to conduct research on alpine ecosystems on the Tibetan Plateau; 3) to support agro-pastoral sustainable development based on appropriate science and technology; and 4) to provide scientists with the opportunity of conducting scientific research based on the particular conditions of the alpine environment around the Tibetan Plateau and also to conduct such research with its own personnel.
Lhasa Ecological Research Station, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Dagze County, Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region 850100, China
Tel and fax: +86 891 6142216 (Lhasa)
The station is situated at Dagze county (29°0′40′′ N, 9°10′ 37′′E), with approximately 3688 m above sea level and about 20 km east of Lhasa municipality, Tibet Autonomous Region. It is on the south shore of the upper Lhasa River valley.
The topography of Lhasa station is generally an open valley but with narrow at eastern and western sides. It is easy became a “cool lake” in winter because of cold airflow assemblage, to be “hot pool” in summer because of slow heat dissipation.
The average annual temperature is approximately 7.7°C. July is the warmest month (mean about 16.3°C) and January the coldest (-1.5°C). Extreme maximum and minimum temperature is 27.4° and -11.8° respectively. Daily variation and annual variation are 14.9°C and 17.8°C. Annual precipitation is 425 mm, with approximately 90% of the total concentrating in growing season from June to September. Solar radiation is abundant. Annual gross energy is 7700Mj.m-2, with photosynthetically active radiation accounting for 43%. Annual sunlight duration reaches 3000 hours, 68% of the total. Mean ground temperature is 5°C more than that of air temperature. Annual air pressure is 650.3 mbar with maximum 653 mbar in September to October, minimum 645 mbar in February. Average wind speed is 3.1 m.s-1 through the year.
The vegetation surrounding the station is categorized as alpine shrub-grassland dominated by Sophora moorcroftiana and Aristida triseta. Other species, such as Ceratostigma minus, Orinus thoroldi, Pennisetum flaccidum, Poe spp., Oxytropis sericopetala, Stellera chamaejasme and Korbresia spp., are also commonly found in the community. Aspen and willow dominate the forest plantation. Crops in farmland are cool-like ones such as wheat, Tibet barley, oilseed rape, pea, horsebean, potato and various vegetables. The vegetable varieties cultivated in greenhouse are fairly abundant.
The soil in the station is brown soil developed from inundated materials in the valley. The physic-chemical prosperities are: pH 7-8.5, 1.5~2.5 % of organic matters, 0.015% of total nitrogen, 8.5, 48.0 and 107.5 mg respectively of fast effective N, P, K in per 100g soil.
History and Major Research Topics
The Lhasa Ecological Research Station was established in 1993 by Commission for Integrated Survey of Natural Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, for fulfillment of fixed experiment of scientific questions met in the past scientific investigations and providing technological support for local agro-pastoral development. Since 2003 it was authorized as one member of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN) under the auspices of Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2005, It was ratified as China national field research station. Major research topics include:
A. Structure and function of main ecosystems and its response to environmental change
Ecosystems mainly agricultural croplands were chosen to monitor long-term dynamics of ecological and environmental factors. Emphasis was placed on energy (radiation and energy) and mass (main greenhouse gases and vapor) flow and cycling in the special environment of Tibet Plateau and their mechanisms with focus on: *monitor ecological and environmental factors and their dynamics;
*clarify structure and function of ecosystems and their geographical patterns;
*elucidate energy and mass flow and mechanisms of NPP formation;
*identify characteristics of biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nitrogen, sink/source relation, and their response to global change.
B. Optimal modes of sustainable agro-pastoral development
Under the guidance of ecological principles, a series of key techniques for plantation, animal husbandry in agricultural area and agriculture-livestock combination will be research and demonstrate in the Lhasa River Valley. Suggestion of sustainable agro-pastoral development will be proposed for local government. The main objectives are to provide scientific baseline for agro-pastoral integration and industrialization in Tibet Autonomous Region. The main research fields are to:
*propose key techniques for plantation, animal husbandry in agricultural area and agriculture and pasture combination
*establish sustainable modes of agricultural and pastoral development
*explore sustainable approach to ecosystem management
Researches including many areas of biogeochemical cycling and agro-pastoral R & D are carried out at the station. The emphasis of staff research is on Carbon and nitrogen cycling and agro-ecology. The main objectives of the Carbon and nitrogen cycling projects are to study the ecological process of nitrogen and carbon cycle controllers and their coupling with hydrology. The ecophysiology of alpine plants and their adaptation traits at their altitudinal and environmental limits is specially emphasized. The agro-pastoral R & D projects appropriate species screening, integrated technologies for agriculture and livestock development on the Tibetan Plateau.
The station consists of base station in Dagze county, Lhasa and a carbon Fluxnet station in Damxung county, north Tibetan grassland. The 11 workrooms, 20 apartments and laboratories cover a total area of 1500 m? Our workrooms and laboratories include sample processing, chemical analysis, computer room, greenhouse and a sample storeroom. A meteorological observatory was established since 1993. We provide research platform for international and domestic scientists related to the fields of alpine ecology and agro-ecology.
The laboratories contain general equipment, such as balance and ovens, basic chemicals and instruments, as well as more specialized equipment, for example, for eco-physiological researches on water relation and photosynthesis. The station also has a lecture hall. Small workshop or seminar can be held.
Accommodation is available in 10 rooms for 10~20 guest researchers. A fully equipped kitchens and dining rooms are available. The station can provide meals. International telephone and fax are are available. Internet resources including references browsing is available in each guest room. Field investigation cars are available upon application.
Cooperation and Application
International and domestic cooperation is welcome in the main research topics of the station. We also welcome scientists who bring their projects to be implemented in the station or our Damxung fluxnet station.