Background introduction of Baijitan Nature Reserve of Ningxia
Baijitan National Nature Reserve is located at the southern edge of Mao Wu Su Sandy Land, and also covers the desertified areas in east Lingwu City. The nature reserve is linked with the loess plateau on the southern side, next to Ningxia plains on the western side. The highest altitude is 1650 meters. The nature reserve is 47 km from south to north and 38 km from east to west, and the total area is about 80,000 hectares.
The Baijitan Nature Reserve was founded in 1953, and was approved as a national natural reserve by the State Department in April 2000. It’s categorized as typical desertification natural reserve, which conserves the desert ecosystem and its biodiversity, including the typical natural landscape in different natural terrains, flora and fauna of desert ecosystem and historical sites of ancient human civilization.
自然条件 Nature Conditons
保护区地处宁夏东北部的鄂尔多斯台地，气候特点是：干燥，雨量少而集中，蒸发强烈，寒冬长，夏热短，温差大，日照长，光能丰富，冬春季风、沙天较多。年降水量200mm左右，全年降水量的80%集中在7、8、9三个月，年平均蒸发量1933.3mm。The natural reserve is atthe eastern north part of Ningxia, lied on Ordos platform. The typical weather here is very dry with very little rainfall during a rather short time. The evaporation rate is high. Long winter and short summer.The temperature varies greatly between day and night. The light energy is abundant. The monsoon comes a lot during the winter and the spring, when the sandyweather dominates. The average annual rainfall is about 200 mm. 80% of the rainfall happen from July to September. On the other hand, the annual evaporation is 1933.3 mm on average.
It’s usually 20 to 30 degrees Celsius in August and September at the nature reserve. Longer days and shorter nights in the summer. Verystrong and radiating sunshine. Sunscreen is essential at outdoor.
The main source of the water in this area is from the air. But it's in inland. Rainfall is rather scarce. The complicated terrian and soil quality together lead to the poor water conservation. The underground water is always hidden extremely deep down. And the underground water quality is not very good and thus very difficult to make use of.
The main soil type at Baijitan is sierozem and aeolian sandy soil. The sierozem is prone to sanilization. In the rainy season, the soil will become calcareous sediments when combined with rains. The forming of aeolian sandy soil is affected by desertification and vegetation coverage. The process is very unstable, and soil development is usally faint.
Classification: The ecosystem of Baijitan is one of the typical temperate grassland and desert. It has a special landscape compared to other deserts. The largest Caragana korshinskii and Oxytropis aciphylla forests here making it a natural lab for studying the desert ecosystem.
Floral and Fauna: For vascular plants, there are 262 species of 149 genus under 49 families in the natural reserve. Desert plants dominate here. The key naional protected plant is Ammopiptanthus mongolicus. There are 115 wild animals of 22 orders and 45 families. Among them, the first grade national protected animals are Ciconia Nigra and bustard. The second grade protected wildlife are about 30 speicies, including Pelecanus philippensis, Cygnus cygnus, Aquila rapax, Pallas cat, Gazella subgutturosa etc.
Vegetation: Artificial vegetation is also called cultivated vegetaion, referting to the vegetation planted and cultivated by us. The cultivated vegetation in the natural reserve are mainly Caragana Korshinskii Kom, Calligonum arborescens Litv., Hedysarum scoparium, Salix mongolica etc. These shrubs all together guard the surrounding areas and preventing the desertification from spreading.
变化 Changes over years
At Baijitan, the combination of terrians and other geographic factors lead to the significant changes of vegetation. Prenenial plants dominate, ranging from 58% to 80% of the total amount. The water resource is decreasing from southern to the northern parts, so the vegetation is also tranforming from grassland types to desert types. The shrubs and annual plants are increasing as well.
Thanks to the support from the natinal forestry department and three-nothern shelter forest program, with the continued efforts that three generations of the Baijitan tree farm workers have made, the forests now covers an area of 630,000 Mu, and contributed to fixing over 1,000,000 Mu shifting sandy land. The forests now reach over 41% vegetation coverage. Mao Wu Su Sandyland is no longer explanding to sourth and west, benefiting the lives of local people living along Yellow River and residents in east Yinchuan.
宁夏白芨滩三代人60年坚守：保护黄河将沙漠推后20公里 - 中国日报网 (chinadaily.com.cn)
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