Biodiversity Science ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (2): 119-137.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2012.19175

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Ornithological research: past twenty years and future perspectives in China

Yong Wang1, 2, Zhengwang Zhang1, Guangmei Zheng1, Jianqiang Li1, 2, Jiliang Xu3, Zhijun Ma4, Atilio Luis Biancucci2   

  1. 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

    2Department of Biological and Environmental Science, College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences, Alabama A & M University, Normal, Alabama, 35762, USA

    3College of Nature Reserve, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China

    4Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, Institute of Biodiversity Science, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • Received:2011-10-01 Revised:2012-02-05 Online:2012-04-09
  • Yong Wang E-mail:yong.wang@aamu.edu

To understand recent trends in the development of global ornithological research, compare these with related trends and patterns in China, and provide suggestions for future directions for Chinese ornithological research, we conducted a literature review of ornithology-related publications from 1991 to 2010 using reference database: Web of Science. We reviewed many publications and other information and provide here a summary of the trends in publication quantity and quality, major research areas, major research institutions, and individual contributions of ornithologists in the world and in China. The number of China’s ornithological professionals increased about ten times during the period, and avian-related publications in professional journals increased about 25% annually. Chinese ornithologists were recognized for their advancements in paleontology, pheasant and crane conservation, avian evolution, and applications of molecular technology to systematics. Compared with developed countries such as USA, UK, Germany and Canada, China is still behind in the quantity and quality of ornithological research and publications. In the future, we recommend that Chinese ornithologists pay more attention to studies on avian life history, the impacts of climate change and urbanization on birds, avian conservation and protection, bird migration and connectivity, research methodology improvement, research team training and multidisciplinary collaborations, long-term research and monitoring system establishment, and international cooperation.

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