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Part I An Introduction to IGCP448: Its Background, Basic Ideas, Objectives and Work Schedule

2001-07-10KDL 2132

Part?I ??An Introduction to IGCP448:?Its Background, Basic Ideas,

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Objectives and Work Schedule

by Yuan Daoxian
(Karst Dynamics Laboratory, Guilin, China)

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Background

A new UNESCO/IUGS IGCP project, the IGCP448 “World Correlation of Karst Geology and Its Relevant Ecosystem” was approved by the IGCP Scientific Board at its 28th meeting, held early February, 2000 in Paris.??The Project is accepted for implementation from 2000 to 2004.

It is a successor project of IGCP 299 “Geology, Climate, Hydrology and Karst formation” (1990-1994), and IGCP 379 “Karst Processes and the Carbon Cycle” (1995-1999).

The proposal of the IGCP448, written by Prof. Yuan Daoxian of KDL, the Institute of Karst Geology, Guilin, China, was first initiated at the Joint IGCP379 and Friends of Karst Symposium in Bowling Green, USA, September, 1998. It is supported by the major international karst organizations, including the Karst Commissions of IAH, IGU, and UIS, and National IGCP Committees of Romania, Spain, Vietnam and China. Moreover, it gets written supports from many individual karst scientists of the world.

FULL TITLE :?World Correlation of Karst Geology and Its Relevant Ecosystem?
SHORT TITLE :?World Correlation of Karst Ecosystem?
DURATIOIN :??5??years (2000-2004)?
PROPOSER :?Yuan Daoxian,

the Institute of Karst Geology, 40 Qixing Road,? Guilin,?
Guangxi 541004, the People’s Republic of China,?
Tel. +86 773 5834232,?
Fax. +86 773 5837845,?
email:?dxyuan@karst.edu.cn
Website:?www.karst.edu.cn

Why the Project

From the works of IGCP299 “Geology, Climate, Hydrology and Karst formation” (1990-1994), and IGCP379 “Karst Processes and the Carbon Cycle” (1995-1999), it is recognized that the ecosystem in the karst regions of the world with billion of population is fragile, and characterized by calciphile, petrophile(photo 2), xerophile(photo3) and a subterranean ecosystem (photo4, photo5) as a result karst hydrological system and Ca-Mg rich geochemical background.??However, its impact on human life is quite different in different karst regions with varied ecological features. For instance, the intensive karstification and underground drainage system can bring about serious ecological problems, such as rock desertification in southwest China karst (cover photo and photo6).

Photo 2 Trees grow on limestone rock, with root system penetrating deeply into rock fissures, a scenario frequently seen in limestone regions with very thin soil, photo taken from near? the Huangguoshu Waterfall, Guizhou, China

However, in some boreal or temperate humid karst regions, underground hydrological system is beneficial to forest or agriculture (photo 7, photo 8, photo 9). World comparison on karst ecosystems will enlighten knowledge on the mechanism of how different karst ecosystems coming into being, and thus benefit more reasonable treatment of ecological problems and sustainable development in karst.? It is therefore in keeping with the guideline of IGCP “Geoscience in the service of society”.

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Photo 3? The xerophile Cactuses grow in dry karst regions even with annual precipitation more than 1000 mm. The drought is originatedfrom serious leakage through karst hydrological system. Photo taken from Anshun, Guizhou, China

Photo 4? A blind cave beetle Speagonum mirabile Moore, discovered in caves at about 2200m a.s.l. in the highlands of Papua New Guinea (Philip Chapman , British Cave Expedition, 1975)

Photo 5? A cave spider ,Porrhomma convexum, crossing the base of a branching white fungus , on which hangs a trapped fungus gnat, Speolepta leptogaster, in G.B Cave, Mendip, UK (Philip Chapman,1981)

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Photo 6? The landscape of rock desertification on hillsides near Liangsuatun village, Anshun, Guizhou, China

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Photo 7? Taiga forest along Kama Reservoir, Perm, Russia

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Photo 8? Potato field near Kungur, southeast of Perm, Russia, showing the advantage of underground karst drainage system for agriculture

Objectives of the Project

1. To compare the karst ecological systems in tropical (photo 10) and subtropical, Mediterranean (photo 11), Gondwana (photo12), arid and semiarid and other regions, their mechanism of formation, and different impacts on human life;

Photo 9? Dense forest above doline with sinkholes,?
Droop Mountain region, West Virginia,USA

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Photo 10? Stone pinnacles, Gunoug Api,?
Mulu, Sarawak,Malasia

Photo 11? Rock desert at Kornat Archipelago on Adriatic Sea, Croatia

Photo 12? Eucalyptus forest in karst regions of southeast Australia,?good for mitigating soil salinization problem by lowering groundwater table?through its strong evapotranspiration.

2. To compare the microscopic karst ecological system as affected by different geochemical background and phase of carbonate rocks(photo13, photo14), especially its impact on species selection(photo15) and biodiversity, and thereafter the rehabilitation of karstlands;

??????? Photo 13? Tall, steep subtropical tower karst, developed on hard compact Devonian limestone, Guilin, South China. Although spectacular in? landscape, this kind of limestone is not favourable for soil formation and water detention, so that the ecological problems are more serious.

????????Photo 14? Low, rounded subtropical cockpit karst, developed on soft porous Tertiary carbonate rocks, Puerto Rico . In general, ecological problems in karst regions based on such young phase soluble rock are not as worse as those on old phase hard compact carbonate rocks.

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??????? Photo 15?? Lonicera, hypoglauca Miq, a species of herb medicine growing on carbonate rocks in south China, but is found to develop better on particular strata with certain kind of trace elements .

3. To compare the subterranean ecological systems of karst on both geographical and geological views, and explore their differences on the evolution of troglobite, troglophile and trogloxene species and relation with surface species (Fig.1).

Fig.1? A model of energy flow between rock, soil, fauna, and flora in a? subterranean ecological system (George W.Moore, G.Nicholas Sullivan,1978)

4. To compare the mutual effects of karst ecological system and human activities, e.g., the impact of karst ecological system on agriculture, forest, human health (photo 16, photo 17), and on? the? other hand, the impact of human activities (urbanization, timbering, mining, quarrying, agriculture, and etc.) on karst ecological system(photo 18,?photo 19).

Photo 16? The early-maturing wheat in Gubeng polje, Xichou county, Yunnan Province. Only this kind of crop can grow in the polje because it is flooded by the underground stream in the summer year after year.

Photo 17? The plant called as Zijingzelan in Chinese is originated from? Vietnam, but now spreads over karst regions in Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi Provinces, and restrains the growth of other useful plants.

Photo 18? The deforestation process following cultivation on slope ?steeper than 25 degree, occurred in Mashan region, ZiyunCounty, Guizhou, China.

Photo 19? Small patches of soil tilled to grow maize in limestone fissures between rocks. The scene illustrated is near Zhulinqing village, Pingshan township in northern Puding county, Guizhou Province.

Relationship with Previous Projects

IGCP 299: Concentrated on the correlation of karst morphology and its environments of formation.

Photo 20? Only salt obligate species can grow around a waste pile of Bereznik Potassium Mine, Perm, Russia

IGCP 379: Emphasis on the impact of karst processes on global change, especially on the source and sink of greenhouse gas, and paleoenvironmental reconstruction with karst records

IGCP 448: Will concentrate on the ecological problems of karst.

The Results of IGCP448 Expected

1. A guideline to use properly the experiences in the rehabilitation of deteriorated karstlands being got from different types of karst ecological system of the world.

2. A better understanding on the hydrological and geochemical behaviours of different karst? dynamic system in the context of carbon cycle, water cycle and element migration as bases of more reasonable and sustainable land use in karst areas.

3. The use of knowledges on the behaviours and changing of subterranean biological community in karst areas for various aspects of environmental study and protection, e.g, as indicators of surface environmental change(water pollution, soil erosion etc.); as self-purification agent in karst system; or as winter refuges for beneficial or injurious animal and insects.

Implementation

Karst scientists will work together with biologists, geologists, geographer, and scientists of many other disciplines; Methodologies of comparison will be worked out on the bases of available knowledges of karst ecology; World correlation will be carried out on typical sites of different karst ecological system.

Tentative Work Schedule

1.???? First year (2000).? A detail plan for the next 5 years will be prepared in a workshop. It will include the selection of karst sites under different geological and climatic background for understanding the relationship of geochemical conditions with flora selection, biodiversity and the rehabilitation of karstlands; for comparing the karst environment and the evolution of subterranean species; and comparing the mutual effect between human activities and karst ecological system.? The workshop will also define the methodology of correlation, such as the geological and other components of karst ecosystem and indicators of its deterioration, the criteria of links between karst geology and ecological condition; content and techniques of monitoring, the GIS in ecogeological mapping.

Working group meetings with field excursions will be held in July14 to 23, 2000 in Cluj, Romania ( contact: Dr.Bogdan Onac,
???????????? email: bonac@bioge.ubbcluj.ro,
???????????? http://www.uib.no/people/nglbn/karst2000.htm)

In August 6-17, 2000 in conjunction with the 20-6 symposium of the 31st International Geological Congress, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (contact: Dr.Ivo Karmann,
??????????? email: ikarmann@spider.usp.br,
??????????? or the Organizing Committee of 31stIGC: 31igc@31igc.org ).
??????????? In September17-26, 2000, Marmaris, Turkey (contact: Prof. Gunay Gultekin
??????????? Email: ggunay@hacettepe.edu.tr,
??????????? Web: http:// www.karst.hacettepe.edu.tr/ ).

2. The second year(2001). A workshop to examine the karst ecosystem in subtropical humid monsoon areas and semiarid areas.

The relationship between land use change and rock desertification in karst, and geochemical background of successful or failure in rehabilitation will be investigated. Working group meeting in Beijing, August24-27, 2001, and field seminar in south China, August 28 to September 5,2001 (contact: Beijing, Mr.Wang Wei, Cagsdic@public.bta.net.cn, for field seminar in Chongqing and Guilin, Prof. Yuan Daoxian, dxyuan@karst.edu.cn.)

3. The third year(2002). Working Group meeting inNerja Cave (S.Spain) and field trip in Sierra de las Nieves Massif, an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Spain (contact: Dr.BartolomeAndreo Navarro, email: andreo@uma.es). Karst ecosystem of Mediterranean climate, human impacts on karst groundwater and caves will be examined. After the meeting, a field seminar in South France is arranged. It is to learn the mechanism of subterranean species evolution in different types of karst (Moulis, Foussoubie, Terrieu) and its reflection on ecogeological condition.

4. Fourth year(2003). Working group meeting and field seminar in USA and in Perm, Russia to compare the karst ecological features in a boreal environment with those of others. The impacts of human activities, especially mining on karst ecosystem will be investigated in the field. A tentative summary of the Project will be made.

5. Fifth year(2004).? To work out a final report, which will summarize the results of world correlation on all the four objectives of the Project.? A working group meeting will be held in Buchan karst, Victoria, Australia to examine the karst ecogeology of Gondwana environment.

Suggestions and Comments are welcome

Any suggestions and comments on the basic ideas, objectives, methodologies, selection of field correlation sites or work schedule are very much welcome. They should go to the proposer of the Project, Prof. Yuan Daoxian,
???????? The Institute of Karst Geology, 40 Qixing Road,
???????? Guangxi 541004,The People’s Republic of China,
???????? email: dxyuan@karst.edu.cn
???????? Tel.+86 773 5834232,? Fax.+86 773 5837845.