Ecotones are dynamic over-lapping boundary areas where major terrestrial biomes meet. Ecotones are sensitive to climate change and/or human-induced impacts. Environmental changes in ecotones will lead to changes in species composition, biodiversity, structure, functioning, and serves at ecosystem level and regional level.
The forest-grassland ecotone in Erguna (50°13’N, 120°11’E), Inner Mongolia, China, is expected to be subjected to environmental changes such as increasing precipitation (currently ambient precipitation of ~360 mm) and land use change. Hence, we initiated 2 experiments with controlled water addition and other factors to explore how this ecotone has changed in the past, how it is changing today, and how it is likely to change in the future.We hypothesize that the forest-grassland boundary is determined by (1) the annual precipitation, (2) grazing disturbance, (3) grasses-tree seedlings/samplings competition, and (4) lack of forest productive materials.