Yanting Agro-ecological Experimental Station of Purple Soil (105o27’E, 31o16’N, 420m altitude), subordinated to Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences was founded in 1980. It is one of agro-ecological research stations of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN). The station is located in Linshan township, Yanting prefecture of Sichuan province.
Geomorphologically, it is typical hilly area in the central Sichuan Basin. The climate of the area is of mid-subtropical monsoon climatic type with annual average temperature and precipitation being 17.3℃ and 826mm respectively. The soil is typical purple soil (Regosols in FAO taxonomy) developed from Jurassic purplish shale which widely distributed along the Yangtze River. It is covered by mixed forest of alnus cremastogyne and cypressus funebris as major types of vegetation with scattered arbors and grass.
The population density of this area is 325 persons/km2. The per capita of land is 0.36 hectares in average, including 0.08 hectares of farmland and 0.16 hectares of forestry land.Yanting station is oriented to make comprehensive studies on structures and functions of agro-ecosystem in the hilly area of purple soil in the central Sichuan Basin. Based on data accumulation of long term experiments, observation of ecological indexes of soil, water, climate and biology, integrated analyses will be conducted to find out ecological laws regarding to the energy transfer and material movement. Human activities and interaction with natural resources has been explored to serve the rational utilization of agricultural resources as soil, water, climate and biology so as to establish optimal management models of agro-ecosystem. All tasks would serve to provide scientific basis for overall management and exploitation of purple soil, and protection of environment of upper reaches of Yangtze River.