Biodiv Sci ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (6): 639-650.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.12134

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China grassland biodiversity monitoring network: indicators and implementation plan

Hongwei Wan, Qingmin Pan, Yongfei Bai*()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2013-06-02 Accepted:2013-11-20 Online:2013-11-20 Published:2013-12-02
  • Contact: Bai Yongfei

Abstract:

A biodiversity monitoring network is fundamental to biodiversity research and successful conservation practice. Many developed countries have established national or even continental scale biodiversity monitoring networks, covering a wide range of natural and semi-natural ecosystems. In China, the only biodiversity monitoring network that currently exists is the Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network (CForBio, http://www.cfbiodiv.org/), which was founded in 2004. Grassland ecosystems, which cover 41.7% of the total land area of China, are most sensitive to environmental changes and have long been subject to overgrazing and other human disturbances, resulting in widespread deterioration of biodiversity and ecosystem services. It is essential, therefore, to establish a Chinese grassland biodiversity monitoring network to investigate the current status of Chinese grasslands, the pressure and/or drivers of changes in biodiversity, and to provide guidance on their restoration and conservation practices. Based on the successful experiences of other international biodiversity monitoring networks and the natural grassland conditions in China, we propose a national grassland biodiversity monitoring and research network, which includes the overarching objectives and scientific questions, indicators, methodology issues, and a case study in the Inner Mongolia grassland.

Key words: grassland ecosystem, biodiversity monitoring and research network, indicators, methodology