The 2020 Advanced Field Course in Ecology and Conservation - Xishuangbanna (AFEC-X 2020), the 12th of its kind, came to a successful end on November 25, with participants presenting their 10 interesting research to a panel of judges.
Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, the AFEC-X 2020 integrated offline and online training. 17 students had offline courses and 109 participants from different countries had online training.
From October 15 to November 25, the 126 students learned such topics as tropical biodiversity science, conservation biology, climate change biology, plant-animal interactions, data analysis with R, experimental design and R statistics, phylogenetic comparative analysis, community ecology, species distribution modelling, etc.
The students were divided into 10 groups to carry out research projects both online and offline. as following:
1. Does short-term sodium fertilization will influence litter-dwelling arthropods diversity across different habitats?
2. Distribution of some selected taxa of Combretaceae and Dipterocarpaceae across environmental gradient in South-East Asia
3. Leaf morphological variation in terrestrial and hemi epiphytic Ficus species across climatic gradient
4. Evaluating the social dimension factors to human-wildlife conflict within countries in Tropical Asia
5. Estimation of the daily displacement difference covered by translocated and local elphants uand the home range of male and female elephants of Peninsular Malaysia
6. Influence of moon phase on the movement of elephants near huan habitations
7. How does bark thickness mediate the effects of log size on saproxylic arthropods diversity in different rubber agroforestry?
8. Relative importance of visual and olfactory cues in the foraging behaviour of a dominant arboreal ant, Oecophylla smaragdina
9. Meta-analysis of national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) of Sri Lanka
10. Variation and prevalence of ectoparasites with respect to roosting dynamics of bats.
Evaluated by judges with Prof. Yang Yongping as the head, the project ‘Relative importance of visual and olfactory cues in the foraging behaviour of a dominant arboreal ant, Oecophylla smaragdina” was awarded the best project.
Prof. Chen Jin, director of XTBG, sent warm congratulations to the successful completion of the course in such a complex situation. He encouraged the participants to keep in contact and have long-term cooperation, so as to carry out large-scale and trans-boundary studies, promoting biodiversity conservation capacities in tropical Asian regions.
One of the award winners will be funded to present at the Annual Meeting 2021 of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) Asia-Pacific Chapter.
Students, teachers and judges pose photos.