Review

Transient phenomena in ecology

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Science  07 Sep 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6406, eaat6412
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat6412

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  • Reply to Hastings et al.: China’s new challenge for dammed riverine ecosystem
    • Yuanyang Huang, Assistant Professor, Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing, 400714, China
    • Other Contributors:
      • Maohua Ma, Professor, Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing, 400714, China
      • Xuemei Yi, Assistant Professor, Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing, 400714, China
      • Shengjun Wu, Professor, Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing, 400714, China

    Over the past decade, annual transition with numbers of alternative plant community, namely, transient phenomena (“Transient phenomena in ecology”, A. Hastings et al., Review, 7 September, p.990), has been observed on the dammed riverine ecosystem along the shoreline of the Three Gorges Reservoir on the Yangtze River (1). However, the mainstream of Chinese policymakers and scientists challenged this unstability of plant community as dam-induced degradation of the riverine ecosystem, and regarded restoring certain plant community as a solution (2). As yet, none of the restorations was reported to be successful, in spite of annual investment of national funds. To cope with China’s ambitious vision on ecological development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt over the next decade (3, 4), a new challenge must be taken to appreciate the transient phenomena on the dammed Yangtze riverine ecosystem with followed three principles.
    The restorations targeting at certain plant community should be avoid. Transient plant community instead of certain one ought to be normality, since the normal operation of the Three Gorges Reservoir is supposed to annually inundate the riverine ecosystem for months of water storage (5). Conservative managements accommodating that normality, such as setting of protected parks and preventing of agriculture and graze, are supposed to be alternative cost-effective approaches.
    The services of the dammed riverine ecosystem should be carefully desig...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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