Li Yan, Male, Han, PH. D. Superviser, research fellow of Xinjiang Institute of Ecology & Geography.
Telephone: 0991-7885415
Address: 818 South Beijing Road, Urumqi, Xinjiang 
Postcode: 830011

Research Areas

Plant-water relations; Drought & salt tolerance of desert plants; Carbon cycle in arid zone.


B.S. in Physical Geography (Beijing Normal University, 1980-1984);
M.S. in Applied Climatology (Beijing Normal University, 1984-1987);
Ph.D in Plant-Water Relations (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1996-2001)


Work Experience
2000 to present Research Professor Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS
1990 to 1993 Assistant Professor Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS
1987 to 1990 Research Assistant Institute of Geography, CAS
Teaching Experience
English Scientific and Technical Writing
Plant Water Relations


1. Huang G, Li Y (corresponding author), Francisco M. Padilla, 2015. Ephemeral plants mediate responses of ecosystem carbon exchange to increased precipitation in a temperate desert. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 201:141–152. DOI:10.1016/j.agrformet.2014.11.011
2. Huang G, Li Y (corresponding author), 2015. Phenological transition dictates the seasonal dynamics of ecosystem carbon exchanges in a desert steppe. Journal of Vegetation Science. DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12236
3. Li C-H, Yan K, Tang L-S, Jia Z-J, Li Y (corresponding author), 2014. Change in deep soil microbial communities due to long-term fertilization, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 75, 264-272, DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.04.023.
4. Wu, Y., Zhou H., Zheng X.-J., Li Y. (corresponding author), and Tang L.-S. 2014, Seasonal changes in the water use strategies of three co-occurring desert shrubs, Hydrological Processes, 28, 6265–6275, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10114
5. Ma, J., Liu, R., Tang, L.-S., Lan, Z.-D., and Li, Y. (corresponding author), 2014. A downward CO2 flux seems to have nowhere to go, Biogeosciences, 11, 6251-6262, doi:10.5194/bg-11-6251-2014
6. Fan L-L, Tang L-S, Wu L-F, Ma J and Li Y. (corresponding author), 2014. The limited role of snow water in the growth and development of ephemeral plants in a cold desert. Journal of Vegetation Science 25 (3): 681–690. DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12121
7. Li, Y. (corresponding author), Pan, L.-P. and Xu, G.-Q., 2013. On quantifying hydraulic conductance at the soil-root interface. Hydrological Processes, 27: 2098-2102. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.9744
8. Ma, J., Wang, Z.-Y., Stevenson, B.A., Zheng, X.-J. & Li, Y (corresponding author), 2013. An inorganic CO2 diffusion and dissolution process explains negative CO2 fluxes in saline/alkaline soils. Scientific Reports. 3, 2025; DOI:10.1038/srep02025.
9. Ran Liu, Ellen Cieraad, Yan Li (corresponding author) 2013. Summer rain pulses may stimulate a CO2 release rather than absorption in desert halophyte communities, Plant and Soil, 373: 799-811
10. Ran L, L-Pan, G. Darrel Jenerette, Q-X Wang, E. Cieraade & Y. Li (corresponding author), 2012. High efficiency in water use and carbon gain in a wet year for a desert halophyte community. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 162-163:127–135.
11. Xie J, Tang L, Wang Z, Xu G, Li Y (corresponding author), 2012. Distinguishing the biomass allocation variance resulting from ontogenetic drift or acclimation to soil texture. PLoS ONE 7(7): e41502. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041502
12. Liu R., Y. Li (corresponding author), Q-X Wang, 2012. Variations in water and CO2 fluxes over a saline desert in western China. Hydrological Processes 26: 513–522
13. Wang Y-G and Li Y (corresponding author) et al, 2010. Profile storage of organic/inorganic carbon in soil: from forest to desert. Science of the Total Environment 408:1925-1931
14. Tang L-S. & Li Y. (corresponding author) & Zhang J.,2010. Partial rootzone irrigation increases water use efficiency, maintains yield and enhances economic profit of cotton in arid area. Agricultural Water Management 97:1527–1533.
15. Tang L-S. & Li Y. (corresponding author) & J. Zhang,2010. Biomass allocation and yield formation of cotton under partial rootzone irrigation in arid zone. Plant Soil 337:413–423
16. Zou T. Y. Li (corresponding author) Xu H. and Xu G-Q, 2010. Responses to precipitation treatment for Haloxylon ammodendron growing on contrasting textured soils. Ecological Research 25: 185–194
17. Xie J-X, Y. Li (corresponding author), C Zhai, C LI. Z Lan, 2009. CO2 absorption by alkaline soils and its implication to the global carbon cycle. Environmental Geology, 56: 953–961
18. Xu G.Q. and Y. Li (corresponding author). Rooting depth and leaf hydraulic conductance in the xeric shrub haloxyolon ammodendron growing at sites of contrasting soil texture. Functional plant biology 35, 1234–1242
19. Xu H., Li Y. (corresponding author), Xu G-Q &Zou T., 2007. Ecophysiological response and morphological adjustment of two Central Asian desert shrubs towards variation in summer precipitation. Plant, Cell and Environment 30, 399–409
20. Xu H. & Li Y. (corresponding author), 2006. Water-use strategy of three central Asian desert shrubs and their responses to rain pulse events. Plant and Soil 285:5–17
21. Tang L-S, Li Y. (corresponding author) & Zhang JH, 2005. Physiological and yield response of cotton towards partial rootzone irrigation. Field Crop Research 94:214-223
22. Li Y. (corresponding author), Xu H & Cohen S, 2005. Long term hydraulic acclimation to soil texture and radiation load in cotton. Plant, Cell and Environment 28:492-499

Research Interests

His work, published in over 70 refereed articles, has focused on plant responses, acclimation and adaptation to drought as well as water and salt movement in arid zone. Recently, Dr. Li’ s interests have shift to carbon cycle in arid zone, with special attention to the inorganic part of the carbon flux in arid/saline land. He is also serving as the director for a National Field Station in desert ecology and editor-in-chief for a Chinese Journal named Arid Zone Studies. Dr. Li is a member of the scientific committee for Chinese Ecosystem Research Network and a Consultative Editor for Plant and Soil.



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