NEECF: a project of nutrient enrichment experiments in China’s forests

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Anthropogenic nitrogen (N) emissions to atmosphere have increased dramatically in China since 1980s, and this increase has aroused great concerns on its ecological impacts on terrestrial ecosystems. Previous studies have showed that terrestrial ecosystems in China are acting as a large carbon (C) sink, but its potential in the future remains largely uncertain. So far little work on the impacts of the N deposition on C sequestration in China’s terrestrial ecosystems has been assessed at a national scale. Aiming to assess and predict how ecological processes especially the C cycling respond to the increasing N deposition in China’s forests, recently researchers from Peking University and their partners have established a manipulation experimental network on the ecological effects of the N deposition: Nutrient Enrichment Experiments in China’s Forests Project (NEECF). The NEECF comprises 10 experiments at 7 sites located from north to south China, covering major zonal forest vegetation in eastern China from boreal forest in Greater Khingan Mountains to tropical forests in Hainan Island. This paper introduces the framework of the NEECF project and its potential policy implications.

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