The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau site (37.48N, 101.21E) is described as alpine meadow, dominated by Kobresia humilis and various grasses and forbs along the valley floor. Shrubs (Potentilla fruticosa) are located on the northern slopes and the marsh vegetation consists primarily of Kobresia tibetica and Pedicularis longiflora. The overall land-use patterns in the higher regions are summer grazing lands. Valley floor meadows are grazed in winter because over 80% of the precipitation in the region occurs during summer (Zhao & Zhou, 1999). UZH and the North-West Institute of Plateau Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration, facilitating work at this field site.