On April 22, 2017, the program of “Integrated Scientific Investigation of the North-South Transitional Zone of China” was launched at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
This program focuses on investigating in detail and map vegetation and soil variation sequences along several belt transects completely cross the Qinling-daba mountains from north to south, working out the spatial distribution and shifting of key climatic indexes, and mapping accurate distribution of main resources of forest, farmland, protected areas, etc.
It is one of the fourteen science & technology basic resources investigation programs, being approved by the Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST) on February 16, 2017.
Prof. ZhANG Baiping from IGSNRR, the chief scientist of the program, provided an overview of the programme and elaborated on its planning schedule.
“The study region is a crucial and strategic mountain areas for both scientific research and national ecological security”, said Prof. SUN Honglie, academician of CAS.
Prof. SUN Jiulin, academician of China Engineering Academy, explained the necessity of the program and the immediate urgency of its implementation in national scientific data accumulation and sharing.
Prof. CHEN Fahu, academician of CAS, vice-president of Lanzhou University, pointed out that many significant scientific issues remain unsolved in this key region and this is an opportunity to explore scientific issues. Other academicians and experts attending the meeting also put forward some constructive suggestions for the effective implementation of the program.
The Qinling-daba range, home to four China-specific rare animal species (giant panda, crested Ibis, golden monkey and takin), is the main body of the transitional zone from northern to southern China and also the large-scale ecological corridor connecting the Tibetan Plateau and the east China plain.
Characterized by high complexity, diversity, heterogeneity and sensibility, the program region plays a significant role in the formation of China’s eco-geographic pattern and the regionalization of terrestrial system.
However, since 1959, overall systematic study has been lacking, and controversies still remain about the geographic position of the local boundary between north and south China and even about its basic properties. The present scientific data are rather fragmented and localized.
The mechanism has not been clear about its species diversity and endemism; its high-degree complexity and heterogeneity have not been fully known.