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NSF-NSFC Joint Program “Dimensions IRCN:Diversity and Forest Change” launched in China
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On July 27th, 2011, the launching meeting of NSF-NSFC joint program “Dimensions IRCN: Diversity and Forest Change: Characterizing functional, phylogenetic and genetic contributions to diversity gradients and dynamics in tree communities” was held at the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The program is jointly supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). It has great significance from the perspective of the importance of forest ecosystem and the environmental problems we are facing. The program will also boost our understanding of forest biodiversity, thus increase knowledge and protection of the ecosystem function, and the responses of ecosystem functions to climate change.

Officers from NSF and NSFC, as well as the Principal Investigators, core members of the joint program, and about 70 scientists from the Center for Tropical Forest Science-Smithsonian Institution (CTFS), USA and the Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network (CForBio) of the Biodiversity Committee, Chinese Academy of Sciences (BC-CAS) participated the meeting.

Dr. William Y.B. Chang, the Head of NSF’s EAP and OISE, delivered a report on “U.S-China Scientific and Educational Cooperation”, elaborated the cooperation and great achievements by the Sino-US joint programs in the fields of climate change and ecosystem since the founding of his office. He also talked about the purposes and significance of the joint program “Dimensions IRCN:Diversity and Forest Change”.

Director of CTFS, Dr. Stuart Davies gave high praise for the program. He also introduced the basic information about CTFS, collaborations with CForBio, and the workshop recently held at Changbaishan, which was the first of five planned in the program. Prof. Zhanqing Hao from Shenyang Institute of Applied Ecology, CAS, introduced the background of the program, its main purpose, collaborations, personnel training, and related activities carried out by both sides recently.

Prof. Keping Ma from Institute of Botany, CAS presented a comprehensive overview and future perspectives of Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network (CForBio). CForBio is composed of 10 large monitoring plots, ranging from temperate, subtropical to tropical zones. Since its establishment, CForBio has published more than 40 papers in top-tier scientific journals, attracted attention of international colleagues. In the future, CForBio will focus on the research on responses of forest ecosystem to climate change,community phylogenetics, mechanism of species coexistence, dynamically monitoring plots, and controlled experiments on forest ecosystem functions.

(Reported by Biodiversity Committee, CAS)

 Dr. William Yi-been Chang from NSF
 Dr. Penelope Louise Firth from NSF
 Dr. Huai Chen from NSFC

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