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Long-Term Biogeochemical Changes in China's Anthropogenic Landscapes

Project Summary

Population growth, agricultural modernization, and other developments over the past 50 years have transformed the ecology of China's nearly 2 million km2 of densely populated agricultural village landscapes with local, regional, and global environmental consequences.  This study is investigating these changes by comparing the pre-industrial (circa 1940) and current (2002) state of village ecosystems across five sites representative of China's densely populated agricultural regions.  Measurements of changes in landscape structure and in the biogeochemistry of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus (CNP) within sites are being integrated with regional and remotely sensed data to estimate long-term biogeochemical changes across village landscapes in China.  Based on this work, the relative impacts of CNP sequestration in soils versus vegetation will be measured, as will the importance of changes in land use versus fertilizer and biomass/fuel combustion in driving C and N emissions over the long term.

Supported by US National Science Foundation Grant DEB 0075617

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.