AFEC-X 2015 Closed by its Symposium
The 6-week Advanced Field Course in Ecology and Conservation-Xihuangbanna 2015 (AFEC-X 2015) came to a successful end on November 23, with 32 students from 11 countries presented their research to a panel of judges.
The course included lectures, practical work in the field of laboratories. The students learned patterns of species distribution, climate change biology, application of molecular biology in biodiversity conservation, conservation biology, invasion ecology, methods of investigating insects and birds, statistical analysis, R program, and experiment design etc. They investigated tropical vegetation around Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical garden (XTBG), canopy corridor, 20-ha forest dynamic plot, and canopy cranes. Course students also did a field trip to “Yuanjiang Savana Ecological Station” in Yuanjiang National Nature Reserve from 31 Oct to 3 Nov. Then they carried out group project in and around XTBG.
On November 23, the students presented their group work to the judges. The 7 projects were as following:
1. Edge effects on herb community in limestone forest and rubber plantation of XTBG: the conservation of native herbs
2. Does plant diversity increase top-down control of herbivorous insects in tropical forest?
3. Adaptive ability of seedlings of three important tree species in the limestone forest under two light conditions
4. Impacts of artificial light on the activity of insectivorous bats in different habitats
5. Habitat characteristics influence dragonfly diversity and abundance in Man-made ponds in XTBG
6. Influence of functional and social traits of bats on Ectoparasitism in XTBG
7. Ecological impacts of rubber plantation on ants.
The best research project award went to “Does plant diversity increase top-down control of herbivorous insects in tropical forest” completed by Dr.Bruno Pereira Leles from Brazil and Ms. Xiao Xue from XTBG.
Dr. Jin Chen, Dr. Richard Corlett, Dr. Alice C. Hughes and other five judges conferred certificates to the trainees at the closing ceremony. They encouraged the students to keep in contact and go further in research career and to make contributions to regional biodiversity conservation.