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Faculty and Staff
Academic title:
Associate Professor
Postal Code:
Subject categories:
Mailing Address:
Qingsong Rd. 21, Kunming 650201, Yunnan, China


Research interests: 

Remote Sensing in Ecology; Rubber Plantation Ecology; Land Use/ Land Cover Mapping; Plant Phenology; Climate Change; Conservation 

Education Experience: 

2008-2012       PhD (Ecology), Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS, Supervisor: Professor Charles H. Cannon 

2005-2008       MSc (Ecology), Hainan Normal University, Haikou, Hainan, Supervisor:   Professor Bi Hua 

2002-2005       BSc (Chemistry), Qiongzhou University, Hainan 

Research Experience: 

2022/06-present     Associate Professor, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS, China 

2015/06-2022/06    Assistant Professor, Kunming Institute of Botany, CAS, Kunming, China 

2017/08-2018/11    Visiting Scholar, University of Northern Arizona, FlagstaffAmerican 

2017/06-2017/08    Visiting Scholar, University of Oklahoma, NormanAmerican 

2013/04-2013/08    Visiting Scholar, University of Hohenheim, Stuggart, Germany 

2012/08-2017/12    Young Scientist (Ecologist), World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), China 

2012/08-2015/05    Post-doctoral Fellow, Kunming Institute of Botany, CAS, Kunming, China 

Research grants 

Funded projects   

1)        National Natural Science Foundation of China (2022-2025): Hyperspectral monitoring and its eco-physiological mechanism of rubber trees to powdery mildew disease, PI  

2)        Science and Technology department of Yunnan: Monitoring and influencing on latex yield of powdery mildew disease (2020-2021), PI 

3)        Science and Technology department of Yunnan: Early warning of powdery mildew disease (2016-2017), PI 

4)        National Natural Science Foundation of China for Young Scholars (2014-2016): Pattern, time lag, and causes of forest transition in Xishuangbanna, PI 

5)        China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2013-2015): Mapping deciduous aged rubber plantations and natural forests through integration of MODIS and multi-temporal Landsat imagery, PI 




First author Publications: 

1)      Zhai D-L, Xu J* (2022) The legacy effects of rubber defolication period on the refoliation phenology, leaf disease, and latex yield. Plant Diversity. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pld.2022.01.003  

2)      Yang J, Xu J, Zhai D-L* (2021) Integrating Phenological and Geographical Information with Artificial Intelligence Algorithm to Map Rubber Plantations in Xishuangbanna. Remote Sensing 13(14), 2793. 

3)      Zhai D-L*, Thaler P, Luo Y, Xu J* (2021) The powdery mildew disease of rubber (Oidium heveae) is jointly controlled by the winter temperature and host phenology. International Journal of Biometeorology 65 (10):1707–1718. doi:10.1007/s00484-021-02125-w 

4)      Zhai D-L*, Wang J, Thaler P, Luo Y, Xu J* (2020) Contrasted effects of temperature during defoliation vs. refoliation periods on the infection of rubber powdery mildew (Oidium heveae) in Xishuangbanna, China. International Journal of Biometeorology 64:1835-1845. 

5)      Dissanayake DMNJ, Zhai D-L*, Dossa GGO, Shi J, Luo Q, Xu J* (2019) Roads as drivers of aboveground biomass loss at tropical forest edges in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Land Degradation & Development 30:1325-1335. 

6)      Zhai D-L#, Yu H#, Chen S-C, Ranjitkar S, Xu J* (2019) Responses of rubber leaf phenology to climatic variations in Southwest China. International Journal of Biometeorology 63:607-616. 

7)      Zhang J Q, Corlett R*, Zhai D-L* (2019). After the rubber boom: good news and bad news for biodiversity in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. Regional Environmental Change, 19, 1713–1724. 

8)      Zhai D-L, Dong J, Cadisch G, Wang M, Kou W, Xu J*, Xiao X*, Abbas S (2018) Comparison of Pixel- and Object-Based Approaches in Phenology-Based Rubber Plantation Mapping in Fragmented Landscapes. Remote Sensing 10, 44.doi:10.3390/rs10010044 

9)      Zhai D-L, Xu J*, Dai Z, Schmidt-Vogt D, (2017) Lost in transition: Forest transition and natural forest loss in tropical China. Plant Diversity 39, 149-153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pld.2017.05.005 

10)    Zhai D-L*, Cannon C H, Dai Z-C, Zhang C-P, Xu J-C, 2015. Deforestation and fragmentation of natural forests in the upper Changhua watershed, Hainan, China: implications for biodiversity conservation. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 187, 1-12.  


11)    Zhai D-L, Xu J*, Dai Z-C (2015) Forest Transition in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan. Plant Diversity and Resources 37, 99-104. 

12)    Zhai D-L, Xu J*, Dai Z-C, Cannon C H, Grumbine R E (2014) Increasing tree cover while losing diverse natural forests in tropical Hainan, China. Regional Environmental Change 14, 611-621. 

13)    Zhai D-L, Cannon C H*, Slik J W F, Zhang C-P, Dai Z-C (2012) Rubber and pulp plantations represent a double threat to Hainan's natural tropical forests. Journal of Environmental Management 96, 64-73. 

Coauthored Publications: 

1)         Dai, Z., Cai, H. H., Qi, S. S., Li, J., Zhai, D.-L., Du, D. -L. 2020. Cadmium hyperaccumulation as an inexpensive metal armor against disease in Crofton weed. Environmental Pollution, 267, 115649. 

2)         Wang J, Yang Q, Qiao Y, Zhai D, Jiang L, Liang G, Sun X, Wei N, Wang X, Xia J. 2019. Relative contributions of biotic and abiotic factors to the spatial variation of litter stock in a mature subtropical forest. Journal of Plant Ecology, 12, 769–780. 

3)         Dai, Z., Si, C., Zhai, D.-L., Huang, P., Qi, S., Lin, Y., Wang, R., Zhong, Q., Du, D., 2018. Genetic effects of historical anthropogenic disturbance on a long-lived endangered tropical tree Vatica mangachapoi. Journal of Forestry Research 29, 291-299. 

4)         Kai, Y., Zhang, S., Luo, Y. H., Wang, Z. H., Zhai, D.-L., Xu, J. C., Yang, H. Z., Ranjitkar, S., 2018. Caution Is Needed in Quantifying Terrestrial Biomass Responses to Elevated Temperature: Meta-Analyses of Field-Based Experimental Warming Across China. Forests 9, 619. 

5)         Sarathchandra, C., Gbadamassi, G. O. D., Ranjitkar, N., Chen, H. F., Zhai, D.-L., Ranjitkar, S., De Silva, K.H.W.L., Wickramasinghe, S., Xu, J. C., Harrison, R. 2018. Effectiveness of protected areas in preventing rubber expansion and deforestation in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Land Degradation & Development 29, 2417–2427. doi:10.1002/ldr.2970. 

6)         Fu, W., Huang, K., Cai, H.-H., Li, J., Zhai, D.-L., Dai, Z.-C., Du, D.-L., 2017. Exploring the Potential of Naturalized Plants for Phytoremediation of Heavy Metal Contamination. International Journal of Environmental Research 11, 515-521. 

7)         Kai, Y., Ranjitkar, S., Zhai, D.-L., Li, Y. J., Xu, J. C., Li, B., Lu, Y., 2017. Current re-vegetation patterns and restoration issues in degraded geological phosphorus-rich mountain areas: A synthetic analysis of Central Yunnan, SW China. Plant Diversity 39:140-148. 

8)         Zinda, J.A., Trac, C.J., Zhai, D.-L., Harrell, S., 2017. Dual-function forests in the returning farmland to forest program and the flexibility of environmental policy in China. Geoforum 78, 119~132. 

9)         Dai, Z.-C., Fu, W., Qi, S.-S., Zhai, D.-L., Chen, S.-C., Wan, L.-Y., Huang, P., Du, D.-L., 2016. Different Responses of an Invasive Clonal Plant Wedelia trilobata and its Native Congener to Gibberellin: Implications for Biological Invasion. Journal of Chemical Ecology 42, 85-94. 

10)      Dai, Z.-C., Qi, S.-S., Miao, S.-L., Liu, Y.-T., Tian, Y.-F., Zhai, D.-L., Huang, P., Du, D.-L., 2015. Isolation of NBS-LRR RGAs from invasive Wedelia trilobata and the calculation of evolutionary rates to understand bioinvasion from a molecular evolution perspective. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 61, 19-27. 

11)      Kou, W., Xiao, X., Dong, J., Gan, S., Zhai, D.-L., Zhang, G., Qin, Y., Li, L., 2015. Mapping Deciduous Rubber Plantation Areas and Stand Ages with PALSAR and Landsat Images. Remote Sensing 7, 1048-1073. 

12)      Qi, S.-S., Dai, Z.-C., Miao, S.-L., Zhai, D.-L., Si, C.-C., Huang, P., Wang, R.-P., Du, D.-L., 2014. Light limitation and litter of an invasive clonal plant, Wedelia trilobata, inhibit its seedling recruitment. Annals of Botany 114, 425-433. 

13)      Qi, S.-S., Dai, Z.-C., Zhai, D.-L., Chen S.-C., Si, C.-C., Huang, P., Wang, R.-P., Zhong Q.-X., Du, D.-L., 2014. Curvilinear effects of invasive plants on plant diversity: plant community invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata. PLoS One 9, e113964. 

14)      Dai, Z.-C., Si, C.-C., Zhai, D.-L., Huang, P., Qi, S.-S., Zhong, Q.-X., Hu, X., Li, H.-M., Du, D.-L., 2013. Human impacts on genetic diversity and differentiation in six natural populations of Madhuca hainanensis, an endemic and endangered timber species in China. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 50, 212-219. 

Books or book chapter: 

1)         Xu J.C., Yang Y., Zhai, D.-L., Chen, H. F., Guo, X.M., 2018. Guidelines of tropical forest restoration in Xishuangbanna (西双版纳热带森林恢复技术), Yunnan technology press. 

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