We look forward to greeting you at the XIX International Botanical Congress in 2017.
Biodiversity of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; Qinghai (pre-conference)
This trip will explore the roof of the world—the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, which is centered in Xining . The area harbors a rich diversity of vegetation, e.g., sparse alpine forests, alpine meadows, alpine thickets, saline-alkali soils, dry valleys and farmlands with barley (Hordeum vulgare) and rapeseed (Brassica campestris) grown for its oil. The first stop will beat the Kumbum (Ta’er) Lamasery, one of the six major lamaseries of Tibetan Buddhism. In this area, we will investigate the alpine thickets, which are composed of Potentilla fruticose, P. glabra and Spiraea alpina. At the same time we will experience the culture of Tibetan Buddhism. The second stop will be Qinghai Hu, the largest salt lake in China. Here are alpine meadows composed of Kobresia pygmaea, Carex pseudofoetida and others. There are also many endemic species and genera, such as Sinoswertia, Anisodus and Przewalskia. The third stop will be at Cha-Qia Salt Lake, where we can find plants of saline-alkali soils, such as Phragmitesaustralis and Tamarix, which usually grow alone. From there we will go to Daban Shan (Elevation: 4353 m) to arrive at the fourth stop, Zhuoer Shan where we will investigate the sparse alpine forest composed of Piceacrassifolia and Sabina przewalskii. In open areas are such plants as Bistortavivipara, Bistortamacrophylla, Kobresia pygmaea, and Carex moorcroftii. On the way to the next stop, we will visit a rapeseed oil planting of more than 10 Km2. The last stop will be in the dry valley of the Huang He (Yellow River) and the colorful Danxia-Ashigong Scenic Area. Because the area is especially dry, plant diversity is low, but includes such drought resistant plants as Peganum multisectum and Hedysarum multijugum.