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A book, Environments of Gurbantünggüt Desert, mainly written by Professor Qian Yibing, from Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Wu Zhaoning from Xinjiang University, has been published by Science Press in July of 2010. The Gurbantünggüt Desert, located in the semi-closed Junggar Basin of Xinjiang in China, is the largest stable and semi-stable sand desert (5.113×104 km2) and only one impacted by cold and wet air currents from the Atlantic Ocean in China. The desert is also a typical region with abundant plant species and gene resources. Knowing the environmental characteristics of the desert is beneficial to going deep into understanding the sandy desert regions or arid regions of the western China as well as the Central Asia. Professor Qian et al., based on many field investigations and observations, and much laboratory analyses and data processing for over 20 years, made an integrating study as well as a comprehensive and systemic summary, and finished this scientific book, Environments of Gurbantünggüt Desert. The book will play an important role in eco-environmental restoration and rehabilitation, and social-economical sustainable development of the sand desert regions in China.        

The book is organized into six chapters. The first chapter discusses the paleo-geographic outline of the Junggar Basin and the paleo-geographic environment of the Gurbantünggüt Desert formation, and analyses changing trends in climatic conditions of the Gurbantünggüt Desert, and describes the types and distribution of the main sand dunes. The second chapter discusses the characteristics of the composition, spatial distribution and heterogeneity of sand grain sizes, and the spatial-temporal variation of mineral components and quartz morphology and surface micro-texture, providing an in-depth analysis of the sources of sand materials for the desert. The third chapter systemically studies the physical and chemical properties, distribution characteristics and spatial heterogeneity of eolian sandy soils.

The fourth chapter discusses the ecological characteristics, eco-function and eco-economic values of the desert vegetation. The fifth chapter, based on 3S technologies and landscape ecological theory, analyzes the changes in landscape pattern and the driving natural and human factors in pattern variation over a recent 20 year period. The sixth chapter summarized practical experiences of recovery and rehabilitation of the desert vegetation, providing countermeasures to protect the desert environment. The book provides an example for enriching the basic theories of the sand desert science in China, and the scientific basis for the natural resource utilization, wind-blown disaster prevention and environment protection of the sand deserts.

  With plentiful contents and accurate data, this book provides a good reference for scientists, teachers, students and managers who are engaged in research on geography, geology, climatology, landscape ecology, forestry, environmental protection and management in arid land.

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