A book, Ecological and Hydrological Studies of Tarim Basin in Xinjiang, mainly edited by Professor Chen Yaning from Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has been published by Science Press in July of 2010.
Tarim River is the longest inland river in China and the famous inland river in the world which has dual characteristics of rich natural resources and ecological environmental vulnerability. Tarim River has become the research hot spot in arid land of western China because of its distinctive regional features, drought climatic characteristics, markedly ecological problems, lagging productivity, and the water use conflict between economic development and ecological maintenance. The problem of ecological degradation in the lower reaches of the Tarim River is the water issue in the final analysis. From the water resources formation, evolution and cycling of the mountain region in the upper reaches to the water resources development, utilization and protection of the oasis region, and to the optimum water table which maintains the natural desert vegetation and ecological ecosystem stability, the water plays an important role in maintaining local social-economical sustainable development and ecological environmental protection. Therefore, to carry out the hydrological research of Tarim River has important significance and application values.
The book is nearly 10 years research summary on eco-hydrological problems of the Tarim River from Professor Chen Yaning’s research group. The book has 1.28 million words and divides into the introduction and other three parts. In the Introduction, taking the climate and hydrological processes in the mountain region, the hydrological processes in oasis agriculture and eco-hydrological process of desert as the base line, the key scientific problems of eco-hydrological research of inland river basin were compendiously analyzed, and the main ideas, methods, technical means and the main conclusions of the study were presented. The first part of the book is the research on the climatic-hydrological process of mountain regions, and the contents include the climate change and variability, hydrological process and water resources analyses, regionally hydrologic and water resources’ responses to the global changes, and the prediction to future trend. The second part of the book is the research on the hydrological process of plain oasis agriculture and the main contents include the oasis system of the river basin and the sustainability, the water cycle and evapotranspiration calculations of oasis farmland, the size and carrying capacity for oasis’ optimum development, and land use and land cover change. The last part of the book is the research of the hydrological process in desert ecosystem and the main contents include the vegetation characteristics and environmental interpretation of the desert riparian forest, the ecological water transport and the response of surface process, and the drought-resistant mechanisms and ecological thresholds.
The research results not only provide an important scientific support to the improvement of water use efficiency, the protection and restoration of the ‘green corridor’ of the lower reaches of Tarim River, but also play an important role of reference and indication on expanding eco-hydrological problem research in arid inland basin and accelerating development of related disciplines.