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The Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences is boosting natural science cooperation with Mongolia’s Khovd University, with the recent establishment of their first joint field station in west Mongolia, dedicated to research on grassland ecosystem.

The field station is designed to target on in-situ monitoring of grassland ecosystem related factors, including water, soil, air and organisms, as well as data accumulation, analysis and prediction. The station will also focus on the response and mechanism of the country’s typical grassland ecosystem to extreme climate events.

Mongolia is one of the few truly pastoral countries. The country’s economy depends almost entirely on livestock, with little crops, forestry or industry. Grasslands and arid grazing cover 80% of the land area, at about 1.2 million square km.

“Human activities and global climate change have bring serious impact on the country’s grassland ecosystem, that’s why we need to carry out long-term monitoring to the basic factor that affect the grassland ecosystem here,” said XU Junrong, research with the XIEG.

Data collected at the field station will be used in research areas including meteorology, ecological environment, and geology in this region.

Khovd University (KhU) is located in Khovd, west of Mongolia. The university was established in 1979 and is one of the nine major universities in Mongolia. XIEG and KhU signed a memorandum of understanding on scientific cooperation this May, and agreed to build a joint field station on grassland ecosystem.

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