Pictured from left to right on the campus of Beijing Forestry University are: Dr. Dave Creech, Stephen F. Austin State University; Dr. Ya Chen, Louisiana State University; Dr. MengMeng Gu, Texas A&M University; and Dr. Gary Knox, University of Florida.

Nacogdoches, Texas - Dr. David Creech, professor emeritus in the Stephen F. Austin State University Department of Agriculture, is part of a team of U.S. scientists visiting China for a U.S. Department of Agriculture exchange connecting American and Chinese professors and graduate students to study drought and stress tolerance issues in ornamental plants.

The team is presenting seminars and engaging in discussions with their counterparts on the topic of genetic improvement of plant materials for landscapes. The impact of climate change is putting renewed interest worldwide on understanding and deriving solutions for dealing with heat, drought, cold and salinity stress tolerance mechanisms in woody ornamentals, Creech said.

The team is being hosted by academic counterparts in Beijing, Kunming and Nanjing, China. The trip is part of a USDA/China Ministry of Agriculture collaboration. The exchange will continue in 2014 when Chinese scientists visit the United States.