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1. Brief introduction

National Field Research Station of Agro-ecosystem in Hailun (Hailun station), Chinese Academy of Sciences, located in Hailun city, Heilongjiang province (47°126′N, 126°38′S), was established in 1978, briefly named Hailun Agro-ecosystem Station. The main research fields at that time were the optimal management of agriculture and advanced technology utilization in agricultural production. Chinese ecosystem research network (CERN) established in 1988 selected Hailun station as one of its components. The objective of Hailun station was to study the agro-ecosystem and sustainable development of agriculture in black soil zone in Northeast China. Also, Hailun station was considered as one of components, when national field research net was built in 2005. Since then, Hailun station was formally named National Field Research Station of Agro-ecosystem in Hailun.

2. Black soil zone in Northeast China outline

According to the Pedological Taxonomy, black soil (Mollisol, according to US Taxonomy) in Northeast China was mainly distributed Heilongjiang Province, Jilin Province, Inner Mongolia, and Liaoning Province, where the total area is about 1500 ha, black soil accounts for 46.7%. The climatic conditions is temporal continental monsoon with severe and dry winter, and high and concentrated precipitation in summer. Annual average precipitation is 500-600 mm, annual air temperature is 0.5-4.0 ℃. The depth of frozen soil can be deep to 1.5-2.5 m, the duration of free-frozen  ranges 120-150days. The staple crops in this area include maize, soybean, wheat and rice with one growing season for every year. The black soil derived from sand and clay layer in Tertiary and Quaternary. The natural vegetation type is steppe meadow vegetation. The profile of black soil consists of black soil layer, deposition layer and parent material upside down. Hailun station located in center of black soil region is board representative for the study of black soil.

3. Total objectives and research direction

(1) The long-term monitoring base for ecological and environmental conditions in northeast China; (2) The research base of momentous scientific and technological issue of agro-ecology in black soil zone;

(3) The base for studying, developing and demonstrating advanced technology in agriculture;

(4) The base of international communication and cooperation, and the base of training program, scientific popularization and education.

Aggregate with organic matter content of 53.5g/kg---------------A layer 60 cm

Granular with organic matter content of 16.2%-------------------AB layer 55 cm

Core and lump structure with texture of silty sandy clay ---------------------BC layer 45 cm

The distribution of Black soil in Northeast China

Typical black soil profile

4. The short-term objectives

(1). Revealing the variation and driving factors of agro-ecosystem and environmental conditions at different stage by long-term monitor for agro-ecosystem in black soil zone in northeast China;

(2). Establishing index system for service function and value evaluation in agro-ecosystem, and quality evaluation and healthy diagnosis in environment of agro-ecosystem.

(3). Illustrating that functional feature in agro-ecosystem and law of biogeochemical cycle of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus as well as water in northeast China.

(4). Demonstrating the effect of global change on agro-ecosystem in northeast China, and revealing the adaptability and response of agro-ecosystem to global change.

(5). Illustrating the mechanism of ecosystem degradation and damage process, and discussing the technological methodology to reclaim and rebuild the ecosystem, and the building of the experiment and demonstration region of comprehensive solution in degraded black soil ecosystem.

Present research orientation:

(1) Long-term monitoring and evolution law of agro-ecosystem in black soil zone in Northeast China.

(2) Variation and regulation of the function and structure of agro-ecosystem in black soil zone in Northeast China.

(3) Reclamation and rebuilding mechanism of degraded black soil ecosystem.

(4) Quality evaluation and healthy diagnosis of agro-ecosystem in black soil zone in Northeast China.

(5) Reasonable utilization of agricultural resources and sustainable development on regional scale.

(6) Format mechanism and effective regulation of agricultural productivity in black soil zone in Northeast China.

(7) Comprehensive solution for agro-ecosystem environment, and experiment and demonstration for high effective development of agriculture.

Work conditions:

Hailun station covers the area of 23.3 ha with field experimental area of 21.3 ha. It has two buildings for dwelling and experimentation, and a meeting room with a capacity of 60 seats. The transportation and communication network are convenient.

Meeting room

Field experiment

5. Field experiment and laboratory

Weather monitoring station and field microclimate station were established in Hailun station in order to monitor soil, water and biology. Monitored scale has been enlarged to 150000 km2 until now.

Weather monitoring station

Field microclimate station

Neutron probe



Gas chromatograph


Continuous Flow Analyzer;

Soil and plant sample room

Regular laboratory

6. Long-term position experiment

Aim at the scientific issue in black soil zone in Northeast China, 10 more long-term position experiments were set up in Hailun station, and study format mechanism of productivity and sustainable utilization and regulation method of farmland soil.

(1) The effect of nutrient recycling on black soil agro-ecosystem, 9 treatments with 3 replicates, established in 1985

          Field experiment                  Return to field using agricultural production

(2) The effect of long-term application of nitrogen, phosphors and potassium on crop and soil. 7 treatments with 4 replicates, from 1990 to present.

Field experiment              

(3) Long-term coupling effect of water and fertilizer on agro-ecosystem of black soil, 16 treatments with four replicates, from 1993 to present.

Water-fertilizer couple field experiment

(4) Ecological effect of maize-soybean-wheat rotation and continuous cropping, 9 treatments with 3 replicates, established in 1990.

Maize-soybean-wheat rotation experimental plot

(5) Research on the mechanism of ecological restoration of degraded black soil, 7 treatments with 4 replicated, from 2002 to present.

Experimental plots       Observation site of grassland, bareland and agro-ecosystem

(6) Research on conservational tillage, 5treatments with 3 replicates, from 2001 to present

Long-term position experiment on ecological effect under model

(7) Transformation of phosphorus and potassium in soil ecosystem and biological availability, 4 treatments with 4 replicates, from 1990 to present.

Transformation and availability of phosphorus and potassium plots

(8) Nitrogen cycle in farmland of black soil, 8 treatments with 4 replicates, from 2002 to present.

Cycle of nitrogen plots

(9) Accumulation and decomposition of organic matter of black soil, and the variation of SOM fractions, 10 treatments with 4 replicates, since 1990.

Variation of soil organic matter plots

(10) Research on black soil formation process, 7 treatments with 3 replicates, since 2002.


7. Awards and publications in recent 5 years

(1) Solutions for low-medium productive farmland in Songneng-Sanjiang Plain and comprehensive development techniques for regional agriculture received National grade II prize of science and technology progress in 2004. This project was applied to deal with soil salination,black soil degradation and Albic soil depletion, and build high and stable productivity model in agro-ecosystem, and improve soil fertility in the combination of farming and grazing.

(2) The project on research and demonstration for on the production technique of soybean with high quality and efficiency was grantedthe first grade award of the Heilongjiang province scientific and technological progress in 1995. This project gave a controlling technique about soybean yield reduction caused by continuous soybean cropping, and soybean culture technique of high yield by analyzing eco-physiological system of soybean.

(3) The project of analysis on the obstacle factors in farmland of black soil and regulating methodology was appointed the second award of Heilongjiang province scientific and technological progress in 2003. On the basis of the long-term position experiments, we revealed the mechanism of black soil degradation, and proposed a technique system of black soil for improving soil fertility. In the end, significant ecological, economical and social achievements were obtained.

(4) The project about comprehensive technology platform and demonstration of sustainable development of state commercial grain bases received the second award of Jilin Province scientific and technological progress in 2004.

(5) Six patents were granted

(6) 10 books and 206 papers including 30 in English were published.

Training program and International Communication & Cooperation

(1)   18 Ph.D and 25 Master candidates graduated from Hailun Station. 60 graduate students who were not in Hailun station wrote their thesises based on the research platform in Hailun station.

(2)   Collaboration:

University of Massachusetts, University of Missouri, Hokkaido University, Nagoya University, Saint-Petersburg State University, University of western Australia, Institute of Soil Sciences, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Northeast Agricultural University, Jilin Agricultural University, and Shenyan Agricultural University.

Communication with Canadian soil scientist

Communication with American soil scientist

Director: Xiaozeng Han

Address: No.138 Haping Raod Harbin Heilongjiang province

Post Code: 150081

E-mail: hanxz@cern.ac.cn


Address: No.9 Baiquan Road, Hailun City, Heilongjiang province

Telephone: 86-455-5768932

Post Code: 152300

Tel:0451-86601328 Fax:0451-86603736 E_mail:web@neigaehrb.ac.cn
Address:Haping Road 138,Nangang District,Harbin  Postcode: 150081
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