The transmissive critical zone: understanding the karst hydrology-biogeochemical interface for sustainable management
This is a joint research programme between UK and China, taking a ‘critical zone’ approach in rural SW China to understand better how to sustain water quality and availability. Here, the local residents, many of whom live under the poverty line, depend on the land for food and water. Resource availability is being compromised by significant environmental challenges such as drought and loss of vegetation, exacerbated by the limestone geology as this allows rapid transit of water and offers little storage.
Our research is focused on understanding better the controls on water availability and quality, and how movement of water in the critical zone influences surface vegetation.
We have three objectives
1. Undertake research to support the spatial and temporal delineation of the complex karst hydrological and biogeochemical coupling with surface land use to understand how this interaction controls water and nutrient availability (for forest and crops) and downstream water quality.
2. Conceptualise understanding from research objective 1 in an integrated modelling framework, functioning at multiple scales, across different land use and catchment characteristics.
3. Use outputs from this modelling framework to develop approaches to land use management that are most likely to succeed in building resilience in the ecosystem services and so retaining natural capital of this karst system under changing environmental drivers. A significant component of this objective relies on knowledge exchange activity.
The project study site is the Houzhai catchment in SW China, a long-term Chinese Ecological Research Network site with some existing time series of data.
The Researches interviewing local Famers as part of the Knowledge Exchange work package.
- University of Glasgow
- University of Stirling
- University of Aberdeen
- Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre ( SUERC)
- Hohai University
- Tianjin University
- Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Institute of Subtropical Agriculture
- Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Institute of Geochemistry