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Two AFEC-X 2015 students published their indepdendent project results on Oikos

February 9th, 2017 Comments off

Congratulations to Bruno Leles and Xue Xiao !

You did wonderful work during the AFEC-X 2015! 

Leles, B., Xiao, X., Pasion, B. O., Nakamura, A. and Tomlinson, K. W. (2017), Does plant diversity increase top–down control of herbivorous insects in tropical forest?. Oikos. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/oik.03562

Higher trophic level interactions are key mediators of ecosystem functioning in tropical forests. A rich body of theory has been developed to predict the effects of plant diversity on communities at higher trophic levels and the mechanisms underlying such effects. The ’enemies hypothesis’ states that predators exert more effective top–down control of herbivorous insects with increasing plant diversity. Support for this hypothesis has been found in temperate forests and agroecosystems, but remains understudied in tropical forests. We compared incidence of attacks of different natural enemies using artificial caterpillars in a tropical forest landscape and investigated the role of plant community structure (i.e. species richness, composition and density), and the role of forest fragmentation (i.e. patch size, edge distance and canopy openness) on predation intensity. Plant community effects were tested with respect to three vegetation strata: trees, saplings and herbs. Observed predation was substantially due to ants. Predation rates increased with plant species richness for trees and herbs. Density of saplings, herb cover and herb species composition were important factors for predation. No significant patterns were found for fragmentation parameters, suggesting that forest fragmentation has not altered predation intensity. We conclude that in tropical forests, top–down control of herbivorous insects in the understory vegetation is affected by a combination of plant diversity, plant species composition and structural features of the plant community.

Attacked artificial caterpillar

Bruno (left) and Xue (Right) in the field

Bruno (left) and Xue (Right) got the best project honor

Categories: Announcements

2nd XTBG writing workshop in 2017 open for registration

December 21st, 2016 Comments off

Title: Scientific Paper Writing: XTBG Workshop 2017_2nd time

Venue: Meeting room 101  (XTBG Kunming branch) or Meeting room 1 (XTBG headquarter)  according to how many people will register from each side

Dates:  15 – 20 February  2017 (6 days)

Organiser: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Registration:  application will be closed before 20 January 2017

Sponsors: Centre for Integrative Conservation and Science Communication and Training Department of the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS

Registration feefree

About the workshopThe writing workshop aims to teach the knowledge and skills needed to publish scientific papers in international journals. It will cover the entire process, from preparing to submitting a scientific research paper, and dealing with reviewer comments.

Participants should come prepared to write one or more papers. Part-written papers or rejected papers that need to be re-written are also OK. The workshop will mix lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and writing sessions, followed by feedback. The timetable will be flexible, but in general the lectures will be in the morning while the afternoons and evenings will be for independent writing and one-to-one consultation.

The workshop is targeted at young scientists from XTBG (PhD candidates and early career researchers) with limited previous experience of publishing scientific papers in international journals. [If there is demand, later in 2017 we will run a 3-day course for mid-career scientists with more publication experience].

Major topics: The publishing process; current trends in scientific publication; publication ethics; literature searches; choosing a journal; writing scientific English; better titles; writing attractive abstracts and introductions; clear presentation of methods and results; what to discuss and how to do it; manuscript submission; cover letters; dealing with reviewer comments; special topics.

Student number: a maximum of 18

Instructor: Professor Richard Corlett

 If you have any questions about the workshop, please email liujx@xtbg.org.cn,  and/or corlett@xtbg.org.cn

Categories: Announcements

AFEC-X 2016, Application Open

May 23rd, 2016 Comments off

Title: Advanced Fieldcourse in Ecology and Conservation – XTBG, China 2016 

Venue: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS),  in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China

Dates: 9 Oct – 20 Nov 2016 (6 weeks)

Organiser: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Registration:  open until 31 July and 31 August 2016 for application out of China and in China respectively.

Sponsors: Centre for Integrative Conservation, Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Key Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resource and Sustainable Use, and Science Communication and Training Department of the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS

Course fee: RMB 8,000 (or 1350 USD , high-income countries/regions), RMB 2,500 (or 420 USD, other countries/regions) based on your salary country, which is not necessarily your home country. The course fee will cover course materials, lecture room renting, teaching allowance, local transport at the training sites etc.

Food and hotel costs: the course organizer will arrange food and hotel, and will have fund to cover part of the cost for all participants. Every participant needs to pay RMB 4,000 (or 680 USD) for the rest part of the fee.

Scholarships: We have some budget for scholarships (see the application form for details), which will be awarded based on both merit and financial need.

Course credits: AFEC-X has obtained accreditation from the Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (GUCAS). Graduate students from the Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (GUCAS) and institutes under CAS will receive five course credits towards their degree program upon completion of the AFEC-X field course. Other participants may be able to arrange recognition of these credits by their home institutions.

About: This program is an intensive course in field research methods, including research design, sampling and data analysis, intended primarily for early-stage graduate students in Ecology and Conservation. A typical day will include lectures, practical work in the field or laboratory, and opportunities for informal discussion. Participants will take part in established long term field monitoring experiments and gain experience in independent project design. With guidance, participants will develop and present research proposals and conduct field-based data collection. The statistical program R will be introduced and used for the data analysis throughout the course. The course concludes with a symposium, where participants present results of course activities amongst their peers and instructors. The course is based mainly at XTBG, with excursions organized to different field sites in the region. During the training course participants are encouraged to approach the XTBG professors to discuss their current research and future plans. For more details, see Modules and People.

Topics: Tropical Environments, Biodiversity Science, Conservation Biology, Soil Ecology, Plant-Animal Interactions, Invasive Biology, Climate Change Biology, Molecular Ecology,  G.I.S. and Spatial Modelling, Experimental Design and R Statistics, Presentation and Writing Skills, and more.

If you have any questions about the course, please email to

Mr. Jingxin Liu liujingxin@msn.com or

Prof. Richard Corlett corlett@xtbg.org.cn or

Associate Prof. Alice Hughe ach_conservation@hotmail.com

Do not hesitate to download the AFEC-X 2016 Application form if you are interested and spread this notice to anyone you think might be interested.

 

Categories: Announcements

XTBG Spatial analysis workshop 2016 calls for applicants

May 23rd, 2016 Comments off

Title: Spatial Ecology: XTBG Spatial analysis workshop 2016

Type: Workshop

Venue: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS),  in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China

Dates:  18 – 23 July 2016 (6 days)

Organiser: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Registration: Registration is open until 8 July 2016

Sponsors: Centre for Integrative Conservation, Science Communication and Training Department of the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS

Course Fee: RMB 1200

Accommodation, food and local transport: the fee will cover local transport, teaching materials, and food etc., but will not cover accommodation. Participants are free to choose any hotel during the workshop, but we can help to get a discounted price if participants choose to stay in the Jinjiangyuan Holiday Inn 勐腊金江源假日酒店 in the town (http://hotels.ctrip.com/hotel/909640.html#ctmref=hodhpsblst  or the Royal Waterlily Hotel 王莲宾馆 in XTBG (http://www.royalwaterlilyhotel.com).

About: The aim of the workshop is to teach participants how to use GIS software and understand how to develop analyses which best utilise spatial approaches. We will go through various GIS techniques, and learn how we can simulate the environment at an ecologically relevant and adaptable spatial-temporal scale for any given study. From this will move onto modelling approaches, and use techniques which explore the relationship between organisms and environmental conditions. We will then use various spatial statistical approaches to further explore the data.

Students will then be expected to build their own spatial ecological study, using their own data and with the support and guidance to develop a rigorous approach to understanding their data from a novel perspective.

The workshop is targeted for graduate students, professionals and well trained practitioners

Topics: ArcGis and QGIS, Basic GIS, GPS and GIS, Experimental design, Projections, datum and coordinate systems, Remote sensing, Creating data layers, Changing resolutions, Finding data, Standardisation and quality, Databasing, Species distribution modelling, Understanding environmental change, Spatial statistics

Students’ number: 30 maximum

Instructors: Associate Professor Alice Hughes

If you have any questions about the course, please email liujx@xtbg.org.cn , and/or ach_conservation@hotmail.com

 

Do not hesitate to download the Application form if you are interested.

Categories: Announcements

Scientific Paper Writing: XTBG Advanced Workshop 2016 calls for applicants

April 6th, 2016 Comments off

Title: Scientific Paper Writing: XTBG Advanced Workshop 2016

Venue: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS),  in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China

Dates:  22–31 May 2016 (10 days)

Organiser: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Registration: application will be closed at 10 May 2016

Sponsors: Centre for Integrative Conservation and Science Communication and Training Department of the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS

Registration feeRMB 2,000

Accommodation,food and local transport: the fee will cover local transport, teaching materials, and food etc.,but will not cover accommodation. Participants are free to choose any hotel during the workshop, but we can help to get a discounted price if participants choose to stay in the Jinjiangyuan Holiday Inn 勐腊金江源假日酒店 in the town(http://hotels.ctrip.com/hotel/909640.html#ctmref=hodhpsblst or the Royal Waterlily Hotel 王莲宾馆 in XTBG(http://www.royalwaterlilyhotel.com).

About the workshopThe writing workshop aims to teach the knowledge and skills needed to publish scientific papers in international journals, with a focus on the biological and environmental sciences.It will cover the entire process,from preparing to submitting a scientific research paper, and dealing with reviewer comments, as well as scientific writing skills. It will also teach how to write reviews, as well as opinionand perspective articles.

Participants should come prepared to write one or more papers (with research results in hand). The workshop will mix lectures, demonstrations and writing sessions, followed by feedback from experienced scientists and journal editors. The timetable will be flexible.

Major topics: Modern scientific publishing, plagiarism and publication ethics, choosing a journal, impact factors, what editors and reviewers want, scientific writing skills, writing abstracts, presentation of statistical analyses, scientific graphics, writing review articles, other article types, the submission process,cover letters, responding to reviewer comments, maximizing citations.

Target: The workshop is targeted at young scientists (PhD candidates and early career researchers) from Chinese Organizations, with limited previous experience of publishing scientific papers in international journals.

Student number: a maximum of 20

Instructors: Professor Richard Corlett and other XTBG staff.

If you have any questions about the workshop, please email liujx@xtbg.org.cn, and/or corlett@xtbg.org.cn

XTBG Advanced Workshop 2016_Application form

AFEC-X 2015 Closed by its Symposium

November 25th, 2015 Comments off

from http://english.xtbg.cas.cn/ns/es/201511/t20151125_156466.html

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.

 

AFEC-X China 2014, Application Open

May 27th, 2014 Comments off

Title: Advanced Fieldcourse in Ecology and Conservation – XTBG, China 2014

AFEC-X 2014

Type: Field course

Venue: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS),  in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China

Dates: 12 Oct – 23 Nov 2014 (6 weeks)

Organiser: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Registration: Registration is open until 30 Aug 2014 for foreigners who need to apply Visa, and 5 September for Chinese and foreigners who do not need to apply Visa

Sponsors: Centre for Integrative Conservation, Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, and Key Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resource and Sustainable Use of the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS

Course Fee: RMB 8,000 (or equivalent US$, high-income countries/regions), RMB 2,500 (or equivalent US$, other countries/regions) based on your salary country, which is not necessarily your home country.

Accommodation, food and local transport: the course fee will cover local transport but will not cover food and accommodation (except during field trips). Participants should expect to spend approximately RMB 50 per day on food, which is available through the XTBG canteen or in Menglun town. We can also help to arrange accommodation for participants at a budget hotel in Menglun town (RMB 80/day). We are happy to help arrange room sharing. Please indicate your hotel preference and room sharing preference when registering for the course.

Fellowships: We have a limited budget for full fellowships (fee exemption + travel grant), and half fellowships (fee exemption only), which will be awarded based on both merit and financial need.

Course credits: AFEC-X has obtained accreditation from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Graduate students from the Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (GUCAS) and institutes under CAS will receive two course credits towards their degree program upon completion of the AFEC-X field course. Other participants may be able to arrange recognition of these credits by their home institutions.

About: This program is an intensive course in field research methods, including research design, sampling and data analysis, intended primarily for early-stage graduate students in Ecology and Conservation. A typical day will include lectures, practical work in the field or laboratory, and opportunities for informal discussion. Participants will take part in established long term field monitoring experiments and gain experience in independent project design. With guidance, participants will develop and present research proposals and conduct field-based data collection. The statistical program R will be introduced and used for the data analysis throughout the course. The course concludes with a symposium, where participants present results of course activities amongst their peers and instructors. The course is based mainly at XTBG, with excursions organized to different field sites in the region. During the training course participants are encouraged to approach the XTBG professors to discuss their current research and future plans. For more details, see Modules and People.

Topics: Tropical Environments, Biodiversity, Conservation Biology, Systematics, Evolutionary Ecology, Plant-Animal Interactions, Ecophysiology, Invasive Species, Climate Change Biology, Molecular Ecology, Soil Ecology, and more.  Both natural ecosystems and human-dominated landscapes will be covered.

Please help us to circulate the course flyer in English and Chinese!  Thanks a lot!!

If you have any questions about the course, please email liujingxin@msn.com and/or corlett@xtbg.org.cn

Categories: Announcements

AFEC-X 2013’s Fern Project Presented at BCT 8th on 2 April 2014

April 20th, 2014 Comments off

Habitat and canopy light environment determines the diversity, abundance and distribution of ground ferns

Yang Fengchun's presentation

Yang Fengchun presenting his group’s work

“The Program for Field Studies in Tropical Asia, XTBG” is proud to announce that the independent project “Habitat and canopy light environment determines the diversity, abundance and distribution of ground ferns“, done by five students Yang Fengchun, Chaya Sarathchandra, Liu Qi, Wang Xuebing, Kim Songho during the Advanced Fieldcourse in Ecology and Conservation 2013, was presented in 8th Botanical garden Conference of Thailand (BCT 8th). The BCT 8th was held in Chiang Mai University, Thailand, from 2-4 April 2014. More than 200 people from most of the universities, research institutes, and botanical gardens in Thailand attended this conference, and 48 oral presentations and 110 posters were presented during the conference.

Here is the abstract of the work:

How co-occurring and closely related species that grow in high densities partition their niche is an important question in tropical ecology. In this study, we used 2.5 * 1 m plots placed at 10 m intervals to compare the diversity and abundance of all ground ferns in three habitat types –tropical rain forest, karst forest and rubber plantations. The canopy light partitioning and photosynthetic physiology was investigated for three Tectaria species, T. triphylla, T. simonsii and T. decurrens. We found that the diversity and abundance of ground ferns was highest in the rainforest (2.52±1.68 species and 3.29±0.04 individuals per plot respectively; P<0.0001) and there was no difference between the karst forest (2.47±0.68 and 2.94±0.05) and rubber plantation habitats (1.47±0.72 and 2.39±0.09) for diversity and abundance. T. decurrens was restricted to the rain forest habitat while the other two species were found in all three habitat types. Further, the probability of finding T. decurrens steeply decreased with increasing canopy openness and approached zero around 5% canopy openness. The other two species differed in their probability of occurrence along the canopy openness gradient from T. decurrens (P < 0.0001) and approached zero only after 20% canopy openness. The maximum photosynthetic and the carboxylase for the three Tectaria species was similar (5.96±2.60 umol m-2 s-1 and 10.02±2.76 respectively). Although habitat and low-light environment from canopy cover is an important factor that determines the distribution of ground ferns, other factors such as soil moisture and nutrients should be further investigated to fully explain how the species partition this restricted light niche. With the conversion of tropical rainforest to rubber plantations rainforest restricted species such as T. decurrens may become endangered or even locally extinct and steps should be taken to conserve these species.

PPT of the presentation and more publications of PFS office be downloaded from http://www.pfs-tropasia.org/publications/

XTBG-OTS Climate Change Fieldcourse is open for registration

January 21st, 2014 Comments off

Title: The Ecology of Climate Change in the Tropics and SubtropicsIMG_2066

Type: Field course

Venue: Yunnan province, China

Dates: 16 June – 16 July 2014 (one month)

Organiser: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences

& Organisation for Tropical Studies

Sponsors: Program for Field Studies in Tropical Asia Office, Center for Integrative Conservation, Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden

Eligibility:  participants will be graduate students and early-career researchers from the New and Old-World tropics, with students from Latin America, the USA and Southeast Asia, brought together for the first course of its kind.  The language of instruction will be English for which the students must demonstrate proficiency.

How to apply: Students from China and SE Asia should apply to XTBG directly, via instructions available at the PFS website; Students from the United States and Latin America should apply to OTS, via instructions available at www.ots.duke.edu

Deadlines:  Complete applications must be received by February 25, 2014.  Final acceptance decision will be made by March 10, 2014.

Costs:  Funding from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Science Foundation will cover the cost of airfare, visas and the course expenses except for personal incidental expenses.

Course description:  South East Asian forests have already been greatly impacted by rapid deforestation as a result of development and population growth. The growing risks to these threatened ecosystems from the impacts of climate change will be the focus of this new program bringing together participants and experts from five continents.

In June to July, 2014 Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences (XTBG-CAS), will host an entirely new training course, on “The Ecology of Climate Change in the Tropics and Sub-Tropics”. This course has been developed as collaboration between XTBG-CAS and the Organisation for Tropical Studies (OTS-Duke).

The course will bring together experts from around the world to teach different aspects of climate change ecology, from the practical, theoretical and social perspectives. It will use a mix of lectures on theory with practical field experiences on methods in a range of very different ecosystems across Yunnan Province, Southwest China. The course will encompass cutting-edge techniques and research technologies, and multiple perspectives on the interaction between climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem function. Topics will range from prediction (model-based approaches) to empirical research on species physiologies, and a timeframe from the Eocene to the future. Participants will be given the tools and insights to understand, interpret, evaluate and develop studies which integrate interdisciplinary forms of data to gain new insights into the ecology of climate change. Students will also develop and carry out their own independent research projects.

The course will take place at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, the premier tropical research centre in China on the northern margins of the Southeast-Asian tropics, and will include field-trips to tropical and subtropical forests, savanna, and a variety of agro-ecosystems. The steep climatic gradients in Yunnan make this the ideal place for the study of climate change ecology. XTBG (and nearby CTFS Plot Bubeng) represents the Northern edge of the Southeast Asian tropics as well as largest Botanic garden in China (in both collection size and extent). Ailaoshan is covered in extensive montane subtropical forest, and associated vegetation types, whereas Yuenjiang is one of the few hot-savannah areas in Southern China, and represents the newest XTBG Field-site. All three sites are part of the ASIAFLUX network, and have long-term climatic records.

Map of study areas:  XTBG (Red): Main site; Hot Dry Valley (Yellow)-YuanJiang; Sub-Tropics-Ailaoshan (Turquoise).

Map of study areas

27 applicants will attend AFEC-X 2013

September 25th, 2013 Comments off

27 applicants are accepted to attend the

Advanced Fieldcourse in Ecology and Conservation – XTBG, China 2013AFEC-X 2013

Until 2013 Sep. 25 AFEC-X 2013 have received 110 valid applications from 80 different organizations from 32 countries or regions(7 of the 9 from XTBG are accepted). We reviewed all the applications carefully and finally we accepted 27 applicants from 18 different organizations from 10 countries.

 

 

Richard Corlett
corlett@xtbg.org.cn

Jing-Xin Liu
liujingxin@msn.com

Program for Field Studies in Tropical Asia Office
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden,
Chinese Academy of Sciences
2013 Sep. 25