XTBG-OTS Climate Change Fieldcourse People Visited Yangchajie Yuanjiang County

April 20th, 2014 Comments off

17-19 April  2014, Alice C. Hughes and Jingxin Liu paid a visit to Yangchajie, Yuanjiang County, a planned field sites for the XTBG-OTS Climate Change Fieldcourse which will be held from 16 June – 16 July this year in Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Science (hereafter XTBG).

This place is 42km away and NW of Yunjiang County, with altitude above 2000 m. In contray to the Hot-dry valley we visited last month, the vegetation around Yangchahe is mainly mountain evergreen broad-leafed forest.

The purposes of this trip were  1) talk with and get support from Yuanjiang National Nature Reserve Bureau about our course, 2) check the suitability of the sites for the field course and determine the activities, 3) make agreements with the managers there concerning logistics, and 4) to estimate the time and determine the schedule for the trip during the fieldcourse.

Mr. Chen Yongxiang and Feng Jianrong from Yuanjiang National Nature Reserve Bureau guided our trip.

Forest landscape around Yangchajie

Forest landscape around Yangchajie

View in the forest

View in the forest

Mr. Chen Yongxiang (L2), Alice C. Hughes (L3), Mr. Feng Jianrong (L4), Jingxin Liu (R1)

Mr. Chen Yongxiang (L2), Alice C. Hughes (L3), Mr. Feng Jianrong (L4), Jingxin Liu (R1)

Categories: Uncategorized

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 People Visited XTBG’s Yuanjiang Hot Dry Valley Ecological Station

April 2nd, 2014 Comments off

29-30 March  2014, Richard CorlettAlice C. Hughes and Jingxin Liu paid a visit to Yuanjiang Hot Dry Valley Ecological Station, a planned field sites for the XTBG-OTS Climate Change Fieldcourse which will be held from 16 June – 16 July this year in Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Science (hereafter XTBG). The purposes of this trip were, since this is a new field station of XTBG and all of us never been there before  1) check the suitability of the sites for the coming field course, 2) determine the activities, i.e., whose topics would be taught, at this station, 3) make agreements with the managers there concerning logistics, and 4) to estimate the time and determine the schedule for the trip during the fieldcourse.

Dr. Chen, Aiguo, the executive  head of a station of the station showed us all the facilities at the station and guided us to the field experiment setups around the station. At the end, all the aims of this trips were achieved.

Alice Hughes, Richard Corlett, Aiguo Chen, Jingxin Liu at the station

Alice Hughes, Richard Corlett, Aiguo Chen, Jingxin Liu at the station (left to right)Landscape and vegetation around the station

Landscape and vegetation around the station
Categories: Course updates

PFS’s 7th paper “Shifting Baselines on a Tropical Forest Frontier…” published in PLOS ONE

January 28th, 2014 Comments off

Shifting Baselines on a Tropical Forest Frontier: Extirpations Drive Declines in Local Ecological Knowledge

Zhang Kai, Teoh Shu Woan, Li Jie, Eben Goodale, Kaoru Kitajima, Robert Bagchi, Rhett D. Harrison

“The Advanced Field Course for Ecology and Conservation is proud to announce the publication of research in PLOS ONE by three students from the 2012 course. Zhang Kai, Teoh Shu Woan and Li Jie conducted a project on the indigenous names of animals near the Bulong Reserve in western Xishuangbanna, where the field component of the course was held. Lie Jie, who works for the Xishuangbanna Nature Reserves, is native to the township of Mengsong, and helped the team talk to the people in Akha language. The team was interested in trends in the local knowledge about animals, and they used earlier research by Zhang Kai to prepare pictures of common, rare or extirpated (locally extinct) birds and mammals to the local people. They found that the abundance of animals was the largest determinant of whether people could assign a name: very few people were able to name rare or extirpated animals (except for some large mammals, known about through TV). In addition, older people were better able to assign specific names to animals, equivalent to giving both a genus and species name in Akha. The research underscores that the extirpation of animals, whether driven by habitat loss, fragmentation or hunting, will result in the loss of cultural knowledge about animals. This loss of knowledge potentially produces a vicious cycle, because cultural knowledge about animals can be helpful in building support in the community for conservation. The students’ research, entitled “Shifting baselines on a tropical forest frontier: extirpations drive declines in local ecological knowledge”, was published January 21, 2014 in PLOS ONE.

PLoS ONE is an open access journal, thus the full paper can be freely downloaded from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0086598

More publications of PFS office see http://www.pfs-tropasia.org/publications/

Categories: Development Notes

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

Course symposium marks ending of AFEC-X 2013

December 4th, 2013 Comments off



On the final day of the Advanced Fieldcourse in Ecology and Conservation – XTBG 2013 (AFEC-X 2013), November 28, participants presented the findings of their projects to an invited audience.

The six presentations were: 1.comparative communities of non-volant small mammals in adjacent areas of limestone forest, seasonal rainforest and rubber plantation in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China 2、Bats in Menglun : a preliminary study in different habitats3、Leaf variation in Ficus: an evolutionary perspective4、How do different species of bulbuls co-exist in differenthabitats?;5、Light determines the function, diversity and abundance of ground ferns6Likely possible change in forest communities from climate change in the Mt. Ailao region.

   The judge panel was composed of Chen Jin, Richard Corlett, Ferry Slik, Eben Goodale, Kyle Tomlinson, Alice Hughes, Edward Stashko.

The first prize was given to Leaf variation in Ficus: an evolutionary perspective” completed by Kandlikar Gau lou, Nguyen Hai Huyen, Wu Wei-Huan, Yao Xin, and Zeng Si-Jin.

Afterwards, the participants received certificates from the judges.

Participants making presentation

Participants making presentation

Awarding certificates to participants

Awarding certificates to participants

Judges and participants pose a group photo

Judges and participants pose a group photo

Categories: Uncategorized

Advanced Field Course in Ecology and Conservation – XTBG 2013 Opens

October 22nd, 2013 Comments off

Oct 20, Morning, XTBG Conference hall, “Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2013 Advanced Fieldcourse in Ecology and Conservation” held its opening ceremony, and twenty-four participants from 17 organizations in eight countries and 12 XTBG staffs attended the ceremony.

Prof. Richard T. Corlett of XTBG first briefly introduced the history of field courses around the world and in tropical Asia, the number and composition of the total and accepted applicants this year, then explained the arrangement, schedule of the course this year. Afterwards, Prof. Li Qingjun, deputy director of XTBG, introduced the history, development and achievements of XTBG in scientific research, biodiversity conservation and science popularization and announced the opening of “AFEC-X 2013”.

The course will last until November 30. In the coming six weeks, we arranged “Lectures and practical (20 Oct night – 2 Nov)”, “Field trips (3 – 7 Nov)” and “Independent project (8 – 27 Nov)” then the course will be ended by “Course symposium (28 Nov)”.

AFEC-X is manly supported by XTBG. In 2013, we got funds from CAS Bureau of Personnel, CAS Graduate Education Foundation and International Center for Research in Agroforestry Beijing Office as well.

Professor Richard T. Corlett 介绍培训班情况

Professor Richard T. Corlett introducing the course


Professor Qing-Jun Li introducing XTBG


Group photo of participants in opening ceremony

Categories: Uncategorized

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

Jing-Xin Liu

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

Topics in Tropical Asian Forestry: technology meets conservation – applications being accepted!

September 25th, 2013 Comments off

 Topics in Tropical Asian Forestry: technology meets conservation

Applications for full scholarships are now being accepted until Nov. 15, 2013!  
Please download this file.  Fill it in and submit it to <titaf2014@gmail.com>.

=== Full course description is below


Topics in Tropical Asian Forestry: technology meets conservation


Course description :: Deforestation in Asia is progressing at a faster rate than any other tropical area, reducing natural forest cover to its lowest level in the Quaternary Period. A variety of modern technologies have been developed that can accelerate and invigorate conservation. This course will focus on how nascent techniques can be used to monitor change in habitats and biodiversity. We will investigate technological and analytical advances in tropical conservation before developing a group project to implement these methods to monitor species richness or biotic interactions. We expect that group projects will result in at least one multi-authored publication.


The course will consist of two parts: an online lecture/discussion course in Spring 2014 and a four week field course in June 2014 at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) in Yunnan, China, a research institute in the Chinese Academy of Sciences. All travel and accommodation expenses will be paid for 18 graduate students from any graduate degree granting institution in the U.S.A. or tropical Asia, funded by the US National Science Foundation. An additional 12 mainland Chinese graduate students will be funded by the Chinese Natural Science Foundation.


Instructors :: Chuck Cannon David Lohman

Texas Tech University & City College of New York

Chinese Academy of Sciences City University of New York

www.ecologicalevolution.org www.sci.ccny.cuny.edu/lohman/


Online course :: Students will watch lecture videos online prior to participating in a guided discussion that will meet online once a week in Spring 2014 (February – May). Students will form partnerships with classmates and perform research projects on specific regions of the Asian tropics. Given the ease of web-based global communication, the students will be expected to develop proficiency in communicating with peers across technological, geographical, and cultural boundaries. Guest lecturers for the course include Richard CORLETT (XTBG), Rhett HARRISON (Kunming Institute of Botany), Erik MEIJAARD (People and Nature Consulting), Douglas SHEIL (Director, Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation), Cam WEBB (Arnold Arboretum/Harvard), and Jianchu XU (Chief Scientific Officer, ICRAF/China).

Field course :: The Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (http://english.xtbg.cas.cn/) has been performing scientific research and providing agro-forestry outreach and training for over 50 years in the remote southwestern corner of China, near the borders of Laos and Myanmar. With an active community of international scientists and graduate students, XTBG is a leading ecological and botanical research institute in the Chinese Academy of Sciences. All students enrolled in the course will travel to XTBG in June 2014 to participate in field training, taxon-specific survey techniques, and to complete one or more group projects. Several guest lecturers from the online course will also give presentations during the field the course, including additional lecturers, e.g. HE Fangliang (Ualberta), LUO Shu-jin (Peking U.) and others.


When/where: 4 weeks in June-July 2014 at XTBG, Yunnan, China


To apply, please visit one of the following sites: http://www.pfs-tropasia.org/ or http://www.ecologicalevolution.org/training/). Download, fill out, and submit the provided spreadsheet to titaf2014@gmail.com. The deadline for applications is November 15, 2013. If you have any questions about the course, please email chuck.cannon@ttu.edu or dlohman@ccny.cuny.edu.

Categories: Uncategorized

AFEC-X 2013 got 110 + applicants

August 31st, 2013 Comments off

Until yesterday, the closing data for application, we received more than 110 applicants mostly from SE Asia countries.

The evaluation is almost finished and our decision letter will be sent around soon.