Tianshan Mountains and surrounding areas are source of world's cold-water organisms: scientific survey
Published: Feb 21, 2023 11:59 PM
The photo taken on May 21, 2016 shows the snow scenery of the east Tianshan Mountain in Hami of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo: Xinhua

The photo taken on May 21, 2016 shows the snow scenery of the east Tianshan Mountains in Hami of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. File Photo: Xinhua

The discovery of a new species of gammaridea in the Irtysh River of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region proves that Tianshan Mountains and the surrounding areas are the world's origin of cold-water organisms, according to a press conference held by the information office of the region on Tuesday.

The person in charge of the scientific research department announced the initial results of the third comprehensive scientific investigation in the Xinjiang region during the conference.

According to Zhang Yuanming, director of the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and head of the leading unit of the expedition, the third comprehensive scientific expedition in Xinjiang, conducted in 2022, has yielded significant achievements.

In the wild fruit forest of Tianshan Mountains, the expedition discovered two new species of moss, 39 new species of parasitic natural enemies, and a new species of gammaridea.

New discoveries have been made in the study of the formation and evolution of the Taklimakan Desert, and a new understanding has been proposed that the Taklimakan Desert may have been formed 300,000 years ago.

Furthermore, the expedition clarified the superimposed effects of wind dynamics, underlying surface, and sand sources on aeolian sand geomorphology, and confirmed that the Tarim Basin dust can affect North China and the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau.

In addition, researchers participating in the expedition built 26 automatic monitoring stations for ecosystems in no man's land by integrating drones, satellites and the Internet of Things.

The databases of the first and second comprehensive scientific expeditions in Xinjiang were rebuilt, and the data sharing service for scientific expeditions in Xinjiang was established.

Moreover, the expedition's researchers determined the overall water flow status of many important rivers and provided decision-making suggestions for regional water resource development.

According to open date, the third comprehensive scientific expedition to Xinjiang was officially launched in December 2021. The scientific research was designed to focus on the green and sustainable development of Xinjiang, get a comprehensive picture of Xinjiang's resources and environment, scientifically evaluate the carrying capacity of Xinjiang's resources, propose strategies and road maps for Xinjiang's future ecological construction and green development and cultivate a strategic scientific team rooted in Xinjiang and engaged in resources and environment research in arid areas.