karst

Puding Karst Ecosystem Research Station

Location

26° 13' 3" N, 105° 41' 26.9988" E
Brief Site Description: 
The Guizhou Province is the center of the South China Karst; Puding County is the center of Guizhou karst region.
Detailed Site Description: 

The PUKERS, as one of the only two monitoring and research stations of karst ecosystems of CERN, generally aims to provide long-term, permanent monitoring and investigation of karst ecosystems in 3D and comprehensive approaches. A technical standard of ecosystem monitoring for karst landscape will then be established. The structure, functions, patterns, and processes of karst ecosystems on the Guizhou Plateau will be revealed by long-term monitoring and control experiments of the material cycles and energy flows at different spatial and temple scales and under various perturbations by human activities. The mechanism of self-maintenance and its key driving forces of karst ecosystems under global change and human disturbances will be explored. Such research will be used to predict the successional trend, to establish the optimal management model, and to enhance ecological function of karst ecosystems.

The Guizhou Province is the center of the South China Karst; and Puding County is the center of Guizhou karst region. Within a total area of 1079.9 km2 in this county, the mountainous area accounts for 34.7%, the hilly area for 49.6%, and the plain and basin areas for 14.7%. The karst morphology is a typical plateau surface type of peak-clump depression. The exposed rocks are distributed everywhere. The black limestone soil (Rendzina, in FAO and China’s soil taxonomy classifications) is shallow and discontinuous with high heterogeneity, but rich in nutrients and calcium. However, soil water easily leaks out through the rock lacunas, thereby resulting in a specific drought if sufficient rainfall is lacking.

The karst topography, humid and warm monsoon climate, and specific edaphic and rocky microhabitats render the vegetation in this area different from other non-karst subtropical regions. Evergreen trees (accounting for ca. 65% of total species) mixed with a proportion of deciduous trees (35%) in the canopy and sub-canopy layers comprise the typical karst forest, a non-zonal soil climax that is widely distributed in subtropical China. However, the original evergreen–deciduous broadleaved mixed forest has almost disappeared because of human disturbances. Secondary subclimax karst (short) forests remain in protected or remote areas. When forests are degraded by human activity, thorn shrublands and tussocks dominate karst hills. The bare or less vegetation-covered karst terrain usually leads to significant rocky desertification, a landscape that exhibits sand desertification in arid Central Asia but covered by large rocks. This phenomenon is a serious environmental and social disaster in the South China Karst region.

Soil Processes and Ecological Services in the Karst Critical Zone (CZ) of Southwest China

 

  • Karst topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum.
  • Covering extensive parts of Southwest China, Karst is a key landscape.
  • Rapid and intensive land use change has caused severe ecosystem degradation during the last 50 years.
  • The SPECTRA programme seeks to assist the sustainable development of one of the poorest regions of China: Guizhou.
  • We investigate the integrated geophysical-geochemical-ecological and social responses of the CZO to past perturbations, along a gradient from undisturbed natural vegetation to extremely human-perturbed landscapes.
  • Through explicit consideration of plant-microbe-soil and plant-microbe-rock interactions, we will identify the biological controls on nutrient availability (C, N and P), soil formation and loss in the CZO, to inform strategies for sustainable management of karst landscapes. 

UK PI: Timothy Quine & Chinese PI: Dali Guo

Contact: Dr Sophie M. Green (s.green2@exeter.ac.uk)

Field Site Type: 
International CZO
Registration: 
Unregistered
Network(s): 
CERN
NERC-NSFC
Study Start Date: 
1990
Mean Annual Precipitation: 
1 378 millimeters / year
Average Annual Temperature: 
15°C
Land Cover: 
Developed- Low
Deciduous Forest
Evergreen Forest
Mixed Forest
Shrubland
Agriculture- Pasture
Agriculture- Crops
Geology: 
carbonate
Soil Order: 
Ultisol
Hydrology: Name: 
Houzhai River Watershed
Hydrology: Surface water stream order: 
Third Order
Hydrology: Surface water - Stream Flow Performance: 
Ephemeral
Hydrology: Groundwater: 
Arrangment of Aquifer Components - Complexly interbedded sequence of aquifers and confining beds
Climate: 
Temperate
Sub-Climate: 
Subhumid
Group visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users

Chenqi CZO

Location

26° 15' 49.6188" N, 105° 46' 18.9696" E
Brief Site Description: 
SPECTRA: Soil Processes and Ecological Services in the Karst Critical Zone of Southwest China located in Chenqi, Guizhou (Karst - southwest China).
Detailed Site Description: 

SPECTRA: Soil Processes and Ecological Services in the Karst Critical Zone of Southwest China

SPECTRA brings together an exceptional international team of scientists ideally placed to achieve our goal of advancing quantitative understanding of the response, resilience and recoveryof the Karst Critical Zone (CZ) of China to environmental perturbation.

Chenqi catchment is located within Puding County, Guizhou Province, and covers an area of 1.29 km2. It contains a closed karst depression surrounded by four hills. The catchment elevation ranges between 1310 and 1470 m above sea level. The dominant lithology in this catchment is the pure and thick limestone of the Guanling Formation of the Middle Triassic. The studied area has a sub-tropical monsoonal climate with an annual precipitation of 1300 mm. Rainfall mainly occurs between May and October. The temperature of this area ranges from −1 °C to 28 °C, with an annual average of 14 °C. The vegetation in the catchment is mainly broad-leaved deciduous shrubs and evergreens. The agriculture fields are mainly located from mountain slope side to bottom. Crops commonly grown are corn, soybeans, and rape oil seed.

Field Site Type: 
International CZO
Registration: 
Registered
Network(s): 
CERN
Study Start Date: 
2016
Mean Annual Precipitation: 
1 300 millimeters / year
Average Annual Temperature: 
14°C
Land Cover: 
Deciduous Forest
Shrubland
Grassland/Herbaceous
Agriculture- Crops
Geology: 
carbonate
Soil Order: 
Unknown
Hydrology: Surface water stream order: 
Unknown
Hydrology: Surface water - Stream Flow Performance: 
Unknown
Hydrology: Groundwater: 
Unknown
Climate: 
Tropical
Sub-Climate: 
Humid
Keywords: 
Group visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users

Goldschmidt 09b: Carbonate weathering in the CZ

Dear Colleagues, Please consider submitting an abstract to Goldschmidt Session 09b: Carbonate Weathering Impacts on Critical Zone Evolution: Rapid Transformations of Structure and Function on Decade to Millennial Timescales

Session chairs: Pamela Sullivan (Univ Kansas) and Heather Buss (Univ Bristol), Keynote speaker: Jerome Gaillardet

Konza Prairie Biological Station

Location

39° 4' 59.9988" N, 96° 34' 59.9988" W
Brief Site Description: 
Tallgrass prairie biome
Detailed Site Description: 

The Konza Prairie LTER is a comprehensive ecological research, education and outreach program, centered on one of the most productive grasslands in North America – the tallgrass prairie. The Konza Prairie LTER program was one of the first six site-based LTER programs funded by the National Science Foundation in 1980 to support research on long-term ecological phenomena (www.lternet.edu). Since its inception, the Konza LTER program has focused on fire, grazing and climatic variability as three critical and interactive drivers that affect ecological pattern and process in grasslands worldwide. Our research encompasses studies across multiple ecological levels (organismic, population, community and ecosystem) and spatial (plot-level, watersheds, regional landscapes) and temporal (days to decades) scales. In total, these studies address the major abiotic drivers (climate and fire) as well as the numerous biotic interactions (herbivory, competition, mutualism, and predation) that shape grassland communities and ecosystems. Our current LTER proposal builds upon a legacy of these long-term studies to address the influence of multiple global change phenomena (changes in land-use and land cover, climate and hydrologic change, nutrient enrichment, biological invasions) on the sustainability and dynamics of grassland ecosystems worldwide, and to contribute to the advancement of ecology through synthesis and integration of data from short- and long-term studies.

The focal site for the Konza Prairie LTER program is the Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS), a 3,487 hectare native tallgrass prairie preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kansas State University and operated as a field research station by the KSU Division of Biology. KPBS is located in the Flint Hills region of northeastern Kansas (39°05'N, 96°35'W). The site features a replicated watershed-level experiment, in place since 1977, which explicitly incorporates the major factors influencing mesic grasslands in a long-term experimental setting. Watershed-level treatments include manipulations of fire frequency (annual fire to fire exclusion), fire season, and grazing by native (bison) or domestic (cattle) ungulates. Within core LTER watersheds, permanent sampling transects are replicated at selected topographic positions, where ANPP, plant species composition, plant and consumer populations, soil properties, and key above- and belowground processes are measured. Groundwater wells, stream weirs and stream sampling stations are used to assess the hydrology and ecology of grassland streams. Watershed and stream studies are complemented by a variety of plot-level experiments focused on key ecological processes and mechanisms underlying responses to changing fire, grazing and climatic regimes. Additional information about the KPBS is available at kpbs.konza.ksu.edu

Field Site Type: 
NSF funded seed site
Registration: 
Registered
Network(s): 
LTER
LTSE
NEON
Study Start Date: 
1979
Mean Annual Precipitation: 
835 millimeters / year
Average Annual Temperature: 
13°C
Land Cover: 
Grassland/Herbaceous
Geology: 
shale
other sedimentary
Soil Order: 
Alfisol
Mollisol
Hydrology: Surface water stream order: 
Fifth Order
Hydrology: Surface water - Stream Flow Performance: 
Intermittent
Hydrology: Groundwater: 
Arrangment of Aquifer Components - Complexly interbedded sequence of aquifers and confining beds
Climate: 
Temperate
Sub-Climate: 
Unknown
Keywords: 
Group visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users

Baeg-nyong (BN) Cave CZO

Location

37° 16' 19.65" N, 128° 34' 46.0308" E
Brief Site Description: 
First cave inside and outside CZO located in Lower Paleozoic limestone area
Detailed Site Description: 

Baeg-nyong (BN) Cave CZO was established to make clear in the mechanisms of organic and iorganic materials transfer from surface to subsurface environments at the karstic limestone area. This CZO is going to carry out the monitoring works for local climate, water, minerals and microbes in both of surface and cave inside monitoring position. The sedimentary rocks along the Dong River are composed of Lower Paleozoic Joseon Supergroup, Upper Paleozoic Pyeongan Supergroup and Mesozoic Bansong Supergroup. The carbonate rocks surrounding the cave are composed of the Maggol Formation which belongs to the Joseon Supergroup. The Formation is composed of limestone and dolomitic limestone which was deposited in the supratidal flat during the Ordovician. Baegnyong Cave mostly shows horizontal passages, which have developed along the east-west direction. This cave contains one main passage and three branches. The total length of the cave is about 1,875 m. Except for the few passages which are influenced by input of Dong river water, most passages show more or less constant temperature range (11.0~13.5 ℃) and humidity ranges from 70 to 100 %. Most of the passages show domal in cross section showing the typical shape of vadose passage, even though other shapes are also observed. This cave has been mostly developed along joint planes, whereas some parts of the passages were influenced by strike directions of bedding planes. (Pyengchanggun, 2006, “Scientific investigation of the Baegnyong Cave”) This CZO is supported by Basic Research Laboratory Program from Ministry of science, ICT and future planning. 

Network: CFRL 

Field Site Type: 
International affiliate
Registration: 
Registered
Network(s): 
TBD
Study Start Date: 
2016
Mean Annual Precipitation: 
1 300 millimeters / year
Average Annual Temperature: 
10°C
Average Summer Temperature: 
24°C
Average Winter Temperature: 
-6°C
Land Cover: 
Mixed Forest
Geology: 
carbonate
Soil Order: 
Inceptisol
Unknown
Hydrology: Name: 
Karst aquifer
Hydrology: Surface water stream order: 
Third Order
Sixth Order
Hydrology: Surface water - Stream Flow Performance: 
Perennial
Hydrology: Groundwater: 
Arrangment of Aquifer Components - Single, dominant unconfined aquifer
Climate: 
Temperate
Sub-Climate: 
Subhumid
Group visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users