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Zheng Xunhua

Zheng Xunhua
Mailing Address:
LAPC, Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing 100029, China

Education and Professional Experience:

    She got her degrees of B.S. (soil science and agricultural chemistry) from Beijing Agricultural University (currently China Agricultural University) in 1987, M.S. (ecology) from the Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 1990 and Ph. D (atmospheric physics) from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP, CAS) in 1996. She has been a scientist employed in the IAP-CAS since 1996 and held a position of research professor in the institute since 2002. Her research interests focus on field, laboratory and modeling studies on emissions of C- and N-gases from terrestrial ecosystems. She achieved some new findings on the exchanging processes of gases. For instance, she reported the trade-off relationship between methane and nitrous oxide emissions from paddy rice fields in 1997, the impacts of soil moisture on nitrous oxide emission in 2000, the nitric oxide emission from non-waterlogged croplands and its dependences upon soil temperature in 2003, the re-quantified direct nitrous oxide emission from the croplands of China in 2004, the nitrogen-regulated effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide upon methane emission from paddy rice fields in 2006, the updated gas chromatographic method for nitrous oxide analysis in 2008 and the exchanges of methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide over the semiarid temperate grasslands recently. Besides, she designed a regional nitrogen cycling model to investigate the redistribution of anthropogenic reactive nitrogen. In addition, she coordinated preparation of emission inventories of greenhouse gases from agriculture in China for national reports to the UNFCCC (United Nation Frame Convention on Climate Change) secretariat. She held a senior position of guest scientist in the Karlsruhe Research Center of the Helmholtz Society for National Research Centers, Germany in 2004-2005. She was a subcontractor of the European Union integrated project NitroEurope IP. She, as a leading author or a co-author, has published more than 140 peer-reviewed research articles, of which 113 are in peer-reviewed English journals (H-index in Web Of Science: 23). Due to their remarkable finding of the inhibitory effect of intensive grazing on nitrous oxide emission from temperate semi-arid grasslands, which was published in Nature in 2010, she and four of her German colleagues jointly won the Erwin Schrödinger science prize (Germany) in 2013.


Carbon(C)and nitrogen(N)cycling, and land-atmosphere exchanges of C- and N-gases: development of detection techniques, model design and application, and processes understanding


  2013the Erwin Schrödinger science prize of Germanyonly one outstanding finding is annually prized; Xunhua Zheng ranked at the 2nd among the five scientists as principle contributors of the achievements; 

  2007,the National New Century Talents”; 

  2007,the Special Central Governmental Allowance; 

  2004,the project of the Outstanding Young Scientist Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China; 

  2003, the Outstanding Youth Honor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; 

2001, the National Prize for Science and Technology Progress(Xunhua Zheng ranked at the 3rd among the 13 contributors)


  1)        Wolf B, Zheng X, Brüggemann N, et al., 2010. Grazing-induced reduction of natural nitrous oxide release from continental steppe. Nature 464, 881-884. 

  2)        Zheng X, Xie B, Liu C, et al., 2008. Quantifying net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange of a short-plant cropland with intermittent chamber measurements. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 22, GB3031.  

  3)        Zheng X, Zhou Z, Wang YS, et al., 2006. Nitrogen-regulated effects of free-air CO2 enrichment on methane emissions from paddy rice fields. Global Change Biology 12 (9), 1717-1732.  

  4)        Zheng X, S Han, Y Huang, et al., 2004. Re-quantifying the emission factors based on field measurements and estimating the direct N2O emission from Chinese croplands. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 18(2), GB2018.  

  5)        Zheng X, Huang Y, Wang Y, et al., 2003. Seasonal characteristics of nitric oxide emission from a typical Chinese rice-wheat rotation during the non-waterlogged period. Global Change Biology 9 (2), 219-227.  

  6)        Zheng X, Huang Y, Wang Y, et al., 2003. Effects of soil temperature on nitric oxide emission from a typical Chinese rice-wheat rotation during the non-waterlogged period. Global Change Biology 9(4): 601-611.  

  7)        Zheng X, Fu C, Xu X, et al., 2002. The Asian nitrogen cycle case study. Ambio 31(2), 79-87. 

  8)        Zheng X, Mei B, Wang YH, et al., 2008. Quantification of N2O fluxes from soil-plant systems may be biased by the applied gas chromatograph methodology. Plant and Soil 311, 211-314.  

  9)        Zheng X, Liu C, Han S, 2008. Description and application of a model for simulating regional nitrogen cycling and calculating nitrogen flux. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 25(2), 181-201. 

  10)     Zheng X, Wang M, Wang Y, et al., 2000. Impacts of soil moisture on nitrous oxide emission from croplands: a case study on the rice-based agro-ecosystem in Southeast China. Chemosphere-Global Change Science 2, 207-224. 

  11)     Chen W, Wolf B, Zheng X, Yao Z, Butterbach-Bahl K, Brüggemann N, Liu C, Han S, Han X, 2011. Annual methane uptake by temperate semiarid steppes as regulated by stocking rates, aboveground plant biomass and topsoil air permeability. Global Change Biology 17, 2803-2816. (Corresponding author) 

  12)     Chen W, Wolf B, Yao Z, Brüggemann N, Butterbach-Bahl K, Liu C, Han S, Han X, Zheng X, 2010. Annual methane uptake by the typical semiarid steppe of Inner Mongolia, China. Journal of Geophysical Research 115, D15108 (Corresponding author)  

  13)     Chen W, Wolf B, Brüggemann N, Butterbach-Bahl K, Zheng X, 2011. Annual emissions of greenhouse gases from sheepfolds in Inner Mongolia. Plant and Soil 340, 291-301 (Corresponding author)  

  14)     Xu Z, Zheng X, Wang YS, Wang YL, Huang Y, Zhu J, 2006. Effect of free-air atmospheric CO2 enrichment on dark respiration of rice plants (Oryza sativa L.). Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 115, 105-112. (Corresponding author) 

  15)     Xie B, Zheng X, Zhou Z,  Gu J, Zhu B,  Chen X,  Shi Y, Wang YY, Zhao Z, Liu C, Yao Z, Zhu J, 2010. Effects of nitrogen fertilizer on CH4 emission from rice fields in China: multi-site field observations. Plant and Soil 326, 393–401  (Corresponding author) 

  16)     Yao Z, Zheng X, Xie B, Mei B, Wang R, Butterbach-Bahl K, Zhu J, Yin R, 2009. Tillage and crop residue management significantly affects N-trace gas emissions during the non-rice season of a subtropical rice-wheat rotation. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 41, 2131-2140 (Corresponding author)  

  17)     Yao Z, Zhou Z, Zheng X, Xie B, Liu C, Butterbach-Bahl K, and Zhu J, 2010. Effects of tillage during the non-waterlogged period on nitrous oxide and nitric oxide emissions in typical Chinese rice-wheat rotation ecosystems. Journal of Geophysical Research 115, G01013 (Corresponding author)  

  18)     Yao Z, Wu X, Wolf B, Dannenmann M, Butterbach-Bahl K, Brüggemann N, Chen W, Zheng X, 2010. Soil-atmosphere exchange potential of NO and N2O in different land use types of Inner Mongolia, as affected by soil temperature, soil moisture, freeze-thaw and drying-wetting events. Journal of Geophysical Research 115, D17116 (Corresponding author)  

  19)     Yao Z, Wolf B, Chen W, Butterbach-Bahl K, Brüggemann N, Wiesmeier M, Dannenmann M, Blank B, Zheng X, 2010. Spatial variability of N2O, CH4 and CO2 fluxes within the Xilin River catchment of Inner Mongolia, China-a soil core study. Plant and Soil 331, 341-359. (Corresponding author)  

  20)     Yao Z, Zhou Z, Zheng X, Xie B, Mei B, Wang R, Butterbach-Bahl K, Zhu J, 2010. Effects of organic matter incorporation on nitrous oxide emissions from the rice-wheat rotation ecosystems in China. Plant and Soil 327, 315-330 (Corresponding author)  

  21)     Liu C, Zheng X, Zhou Z, Han S,  Wang Y, Wang K, Liang W, Li M, Chen D, Yang Z, 2010.  Nitrous oxide and nitric oxide emissions from an irrigated cotton field in Northern China. Plant and Soil 332, 123-134. (Corresponding author)  

  22)     Liu C, Meng S, Wang K, Zhou Z, Han S, Chen D, Yang Z, Zheng X, 2011. Effects of irrigation, fertilization and crop straw management on nitrous oxide and nitric oxide emissions from a wheat-maize rotation field in northern China. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 140, 226-233. (Corresponding author)   

  23)     Liu C, Holst J, Butterbach-Bahl K, Yao Z, Brüggemann N, Han X, Tas B, Susenbeth A, Han S, Zheng X, 2009. Growing season methane budget of a typical Inner Mongolian steppe. Atmospheric Environment 43, 3086-3095. (Corresponding author)  

  24)     Liu C, Holst J, Yao Z, Brüggemann N, Butterbach-Bahl K, Han S, Han X, Zheng X, 2009. Sheepfolds as "hotspots" of nitric oxide (NO) emission in a semi-arid Inner Mongolian steppe. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 134, 136-142  (Corresponding author) 

  25)     Liu C, Holst J, Brüggemann N, Butterbach-Bahl K, Yao Z, Han S, Han X and Zheng X, 2008. Effects of irrigation on nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide fluxes in an Inner Mongolian steppe. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 25 (5): 748-756.  (Corresponding author) 

  26)     Liu C, Holst J, Brüggemann N, Butterbach-bahl K,  Yao Z, Yue J, Han S, Han X, Krümmelbeind J, Hornd R, and Zheng X, 2007. Grazing reduces methane uptake by soils in a semi-arid steppe in Inner Mongolia, China. Atmospheric Environment 41, 5948-5958. (SCI)   (Corresponding author) 

  27)     Zhou Z, Zheng X, Xie B, Liu C, Han S, Zhu J, 2010. Nitric oxide emissions from rice-wheat rotation fields in eastern China: effect of fertilization, soil water content, and crop residue. Plant and Soil 336, 87-98. (Corresponding author)  

  28)     Zhou Z, Zheng X, Xie B, Han S, Liu C, 2010. A process-oriented model of N2O emission from rice-winter wheat rotation agro-ecosystem: structure, validation and sensitivity. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 27, 137-150. (Corresponding author)  

  29)     Mei B, Zheng X, Xie B, Dong H, Zhou Z, Wang R, Deng J, Cui F, Tong H, Zhu J, 2009. Nitric oxide emissions from conventional vegetable fields in southeastern China. Atmospheric Environment 43, 2762-2769 (Corresponding author)  

  30)     Mei B, Zheng X, Xie B, Dong H, Yao Z, Liu C, Zhou Z, Wang R, Deng J, Zhu J, 2011. Characteristics of Multiple-Year Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Conventional Vegetable Fields in Southeastern China. Journal of Geophysical Research 116, D12113 (Corresponding author) 

  31)     Gu J, Zheng X, Zhang W, 2009. Background nitrous oxide emissions from croplands in China in the year 2000. Plant and Soil 320, 307-320. (Corresponding author) 

  32)     Gu J, Zheng X, Wang Y, Ding W, Zhu B, Chen X, Wang Y, Zhao Z, Shi Y, Zhu J, 2007. Regulatory effects of soil properties on background N2O emissions from agricultural soils in China. Plant and Soil 295, 53-65. (Corresponding author) 

  33)     Cui F, Zheng X, Liu C, Wang K, Zhou Z, Deng J, 2014. Assessing biogeochemical effects and best management practice for a wheat-maize cropping system using the DNDC model. Biogeosciences 11, 91-107. (Corresponding author) 

  34)     Yue J, Han S, Zheng X, 2012. Designing a regional nitrogen cycle module of grassland for the IAP-N model. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 29, 320-332.  (Corresponding author).  

  35)     Cui F, Yan G, Zhou Z, Zheng X, Deng J, 2012. Annual emissions of nitrous oxide and nitric oxide from a wheat-maize cropping system on a silt loam calcareous soil in the North China Plain. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 48, 10-19. (Corresponding author)  

  36)     Yao Z, Zheng X, Dong H, Xie B, Wang R, Mei B, Zhu J, 2012. A 3-year record of N2O and CH4 emissions from a sandy loam paddy during rice seasons as affected by different nitrogen application rates. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 152, 1-9. (Corresponding author)  

  37)     Liu C, Wang K, Zheng X, 2012. Responses of N2O and CH4 fluxes to fertilizer nitrogen addition rates in an irrigated wheat-maize cropping system in northern China. Biogeosciences 9, 839-850. (Corresponding author)   

  38)     Deng J, Zhou Z, Zheng X, Liu C,  Xie B, Yao Z, Cui F, Han S, Zhu J, 2012. Annual emissions of nitrous oxide and nitric oxide from rice-wheat rotation and vegetable fields: a case study in the Tai-Lake region, China. Plant and Soil 360, 37-53. (Corresponding author)   

  39)     Xie B, Zhou Z, Mei B, Zheng X, Dong H, Wang R, Han S, Cui F, Wang Y, Zhu J, 2012. Influences of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE), nitrogen fertilizer and crop residue incorporation on CH4 emissions from irrigated rice fields. Nutrient Cycling in Agricultural Ecosystems 93, 373–385. (Corresponding author)  

  40)     Chen W, Wolf B, Zheng X, Yao Z, Butterbach-bahl K, Brüggemann N, Han S, Liu C, Han X, 2013. Carbon dioxide emission from temperate semiarid steppe during the non-growing season. Atmospheric Environment 64, 141-149. (Corresponding author)  

  41)     Chen W, Zheng X, Chen Q, Wolf B, Butterbach-Bahl, K, Brüggemann N, Lin S, 2013. Effects of increasing precipitation and nitrogen deposition on CH4 and N2O fluxes and ecosystem respiration in a degraded steppe in Inner Mongolia, China. Geoderma 192, 335-340. (Corresponding author) 

  42)     Wang K, Zheng X, Pihlatie M, Vesala T, Liu C, Haapanala S, Mammarella I, Rannik Ü, Liu H, 2013. Comparison between static chamber and tunable diode laser-based eddy covariance techniques for measuring nitrous oxide fluxes from a cotton field. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 171-172: 9-19. (Corresponding author) 

  43)     Wang R, Feng Q, Liao T, Zheng X, Butterbach-Bahl K, Zhang W, Jin C, 2013. Effects of nitrate concentration on the denitrification potential of a calcic cambisol and its fractions of N2, N2O and NO. Plant and Soil 363, 175-189. (Corresponding author) 

  44)     Liu C, Wang K, Zheng X, 2013. Effects of nitrification inhibitors (DCD and DMPP) on nitrous oxide emission, crop yield and nitrogen uptake in a wheat-maize cropping system. Biogeosciences 10, 2427–2437.(Corresponding author)   

  45)     Yao Z, Zheng X, Wang R, Dong H, Xie B, Mei B, Zhou Z, Zhu J, 2013. Greenhouse gas fluxes and NO release from a Chinese subtropical rice-winter wheat rotation system under nitrogen fertilizer management. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences 118, 623-638. (Corresponding author)  

  46)     Wang K, Liu C, Zheng X, Pihlatie M, Li B, Haapanala S, Vesala T, Liu H, Wang Y, Liu G, Hu F, 2013. Comparison between eddy covariance and automatic chamber techniques for measuring net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide in cotton and wheat fields. Biogeosciences 10, 6865–6877. (Corresponding author)   

  47)     Yan G, Zheng X, Cui F, Yao Z, Zhou Z, Deng J, Xu Y, 2013. Two-year simultaneous records of N2O and NO fluxes from a farmed cropland in the Northern China Plain with a reduced nitrogen addition rate by one-third. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 178, 39–50. (Corresponding author)  

  48)     Yao Z, Zheng X, Dong H, Xie B, Liu C, Wang R, Butterbach-Bahl K, Zhu J, 2013 Nitrous oxide and methane fluxes from a rice-wheat crop rotation under wheat residue incorporation and no tillage practices. Atmospheric Environment 79, 641-649. (Corresponding author)   

  49)     Liao T, Wang R, Zheng X, Sun Y, Butterbach-Bahl K, Chen N, 2013. Automated online measurement of N2, N2O, NO, CO2, and CH4 emissions based on a gas-flow-soil-core technique. Chemosphere 93, 2848-2853. (Corresponding author)  

Deng J, Zhou Z, Zheng X, Li C, 2013. Modeling impacts of fertilization alternatives on nitrous oxide and nitric oxide emissions from conventional vegetable fields in southeastern China. Atmospheric Environment 81, 642-650. (Corresponding author)

Community service:


she is currently the leaders of a research team project granted by NSFC (National Natural Science Foundation of China), and a 973 (i.e. the Key Fundament Research Program) project granted by MOST (the Ministry of Science and Technology, China). She is also coordinating work packages of the projects granted by CAS and the Ministry of Agriculture, China and leading a CAS-CF (Finish Academy of Sciences) joint project. All these projects she is involved in are set up to implement fundamental researches on terrestrial ecosystems-atmosphere exchanges of nitrogen- and carbon-gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, NH3, NO).