About Us
Conservation & Horticulture
Public Education
Graduate Study
International Cooperation
Annual Reports
Publications & Papers
Visit XTBG
XTBG Seminar
Open Positions
4th XSBN Symposium
PFS-Tropical Asia
   Location:Home > Research > Research Divisions > Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology
Group of Forest Ecosystem Studies
Author: Cao Min
Update time: 2016-12-15
Text Size: A A A


Head of the Group: Prof. Dr. Cao Min

E-mail: caom@xtbg.ac.cn

Website: http://feg.groups.xtbg.ac.cn/



To study the structure, function and dynamics of tropical and subtropical forest ecosystems in SW China, with the purpose of understanding the elementary processes occurring in forest ecosystems and developing multidisciplinary approaches in the restoration of degraded habitats. FES, on the other hand, commits itself to translating this information into results relevant to sustainable development of local economy and society. To achieve the objectives, FES supports international cooperation with both institutions and individuals from all countries of the world. Moreover, we intend to develop programs that will allow the group to bring together experts from a variety of disciplines to deal with ecological issues in the land use of tropical Asian countries.

On the other hand, a total of 52 postgraduate students were educated or being educated with the supervision of the colleagues in this group since 2003, of which 22 students for M.Sc. and 11 students for Ph.D. have already graduated and been awarded the corresponding academic degrees.   

There were 3 visiting scientists from Australia, India and Japan joining in this group and conducting the cooperative studied on the arthropods on forest canopy, forest nutrients and carbon flux in seasonal rain forests respectively. 


Staff: There are 8 staff members in this group. 

No. Name      Degree     Position            Major

1  YANG Jie            Ph.D.   Associate Professor      Forest ecology

2 HU Yuehua        Ph.D.    Associate Professor      Forest ecology

3 JIANG Nan           MSc 

4 Akihiro NAKAMURA  Ph.D  Associate Professor          Forest ecology




 29 research projects were conducted since 2003, summing to RMB 9.29 million. These include 6 projects with funds over 500,000 Yuan RMB each. 5 projects were supported by NSFC. 3 sub-projects were supported by National Key Basic Research of Ministry of Science (MOST) and Technology (973 projects). NSFC, MOST and CAS are the major funding sources for the projects carried on by this research group.     


A total of 110 papers, 1 proceedings and 1 monograph (with first authorship) were published since 2003. Of which 20 papers were published in the international journals cited by SCI. In addition, the research entitled “Study on the Tropical Forest Dynamics in SW China” was awarded the Second Class Prize of Yunnan Provincial Natural Sciences in 2004.




  Wu JJ, Swenson NG, Brown C, Zhang CC, Yang J, Ci XQ, Li J, Sha LQ, Cao M, Lin LX: How does habitat filtering affect the detection of conspecific and phylogenetic density dependence? Ecology 2016, 97(5):1182-1193.  

  Swenson NG, Weiser MD, Mao LF, Normand S, Rodriguez MA, Lin LX, Cao M, Svenning JC: Constancy in Functional Space across a Species Richness Anomaly. American Naturalist 2016, 187(4):E83-E92.  

  Song XY, Nakamura A, Sun ZH, Tang Y, Cao M: Elevational Distribution of Adult Trees and Seedlings in a Tropical Montane Transect, Southwest China. Mountain Research and Development 2016, 36(3):342-354.  

  Song XY, Li JQ, Zhang WF, Tang Y, Sun ZH, Cao M: Variant responses of tree seedling to seasonal drought stress along an elevational transect in tropical montane forests. Scientific Reports 2016, 6.  


  Li YW, Xia YJ, Li HY, Deng XB, Sha LQ, Li B, Lin LX, Cao M: Accumulated Impacts of Sulfur Spraying on Soil Nutrient Availability and Microbial Biomass in Rubber Plantations. Clean-Soil Air Water 2016, 44(8):1001-1010.  

  Lan GY, Zhang YB, He FL, Hu YH, Zhu H, Cao M: Species associations of congeneric species in a tropical seasonal rain forest of China. Journal of Tropical Ecology 2016, 32:201-212.  

  Ashton LA, Nakamura A, Burwell CJ, Tang Y, Cao M, Whitaker T, Sun Z, Huang H, Kitching RL: Elevational sensitivity in an Asian 'hotspot': moth diversity across elevational gradients in tropical, sub-tropical and sub-alpine China. Scientific Reports 2016, 6:11.  

  Ashton LA, Nakamura A, Basset Y, Burwell CJ, Cao M, Eastwood R, Odell E, de Oliveira EG, Hurley K, Katabuchi M et al: Vertical stratification of moths across elevation and latitude. Journal of Biogeography 2016, 43(1):59-69.  

  Yang J, Swenson NG, Zhang GC, Ci XQ, Cao M, Sha LQ, Li J, Slik JWF, Lin LX: Local-scale Partitioning of Functional and Phylogenetic Beta Diversity in a Tropical Tree Assemblage. Scientific Reports 2015, 5.  

  Umana MN, Zhang CC, Cao M, Lin LX, Swenson NG: Commonness, rarity, and intraspecific variation in traits and performance in tropical tree seedlings. Ecology Letters 2015, 18(12):1329-1337.  

  Tan ZH, Deng XB, Hughes A, Tang Y, Cao M, Zhang WF, Yang XF, Sha LQ, Song L, Zhao JF: Partial net primary production of a mixed dipterocarp forest: Spatial patterns and temporal dynamics. J Geophys Res-Biogeosci 2015, 120(3):570-583.  

  Song L, Ma WZ, Yao YL, Liu WY, Li S, Chen K, Lu HZ, Cao M, Sun ZH, Tan ZH et al: Bole bryophyte diversity and distribution patterns along three altitudinal gradients in Yunnan, China. Journal of Vegetation Science 2015, 26(3):576-587.  

  Kitching RL, Nakamura A, Yasuda M, Hughes AC, Min C: Environmental determinism of community structure across trophic levels: moth assemblages and substrate type in the rain forests of south-western China. Journal of Tropical Ecology 2015, 31:81-89.  

  Anderson-Teixeira KJ, Davies SJ, Bennett AC, Gonzalez-Akre EB, Muller-Landau HC, Wright SJ, Abu Salim K, Zambrano AMA, Alonso A, Baltzer JL et al: CTFS-ForestGEO: a worldwide network monitoring forests in an era of global change. Global Change Biology 2015, 21(2):528-549.  

  Zhou GY, Houlton BZ, Wang WT, Huang WJ, Xiao Y, Zhang QM, Liu SZ, Cao M, Wang XH, Wang SL et al: Substantial reorganization of China's tropical and subtropical forests: based on the permanent plots. Global Change Biology 2014, 20(1):240-250.  

  Yang J, Zhang GC, Ci XQ, Swenson NG, Cao M, Sha LQ, Li J, Baskin CC, Slik JWF, Lin LX: Functional and phylogenetic assembly in a Chinese tropical tree community across size classes, spatial scales and habitats. Functional Ecology 2014, 28(2):520-529.  

  Yang J, Ci XQ, Lu MM, Zhang GC, Cao M, Li J, Lin LX: Functional traits of tree species with phylogenetic signal co-vary with environmental niches in two large forest dynamics plots. Journal of Plant Ecology 2014, 7(2):115-125.  

  Rejou-Mechain M, Muller-Landau HC, Detto M, Thomas SC, Le Toan T, Saatchi SS, Barreto-Silva JS, Bourg NA, Bunyavejchewin S, Butt N et al: Local spatial structure of forest biomass and its consequences for remote sensing of carbon stocks. Biogeosciences 2014, 11(23):6827-6840.  

  Li YW, Xia YJ, Lei YB, Deng Y, Chen H, Sha LQ, Cao M, Deng XB: Estimating changes in soil organic carbon storage due to land use changes using a modified calculation method. Iforest-Biogeosciences and Forestry 2014, 8:45-52.  

  Lasky JR, Yang J, Zhang GC, Cao M, Tang Y, Keitt TH: The role of functional traits and individual variation in the co-occurrence of Ficus species. Ecology 2014, 95(4):978-990.  

  Hu YH, Kitching RL, Lan GY, Zhang JL, Sha LQ, Cao M: Size-Class Effect Contributes to Tree Species Assembly through Influencing Dispersal in Tropical Forests. PLoS One 2014, 9(9).  

  Feng G, Mi XC, Bocher PK, Mao LF, Sandel B, Cao M, Ye WH, Hao ZQ, Gong HD, Zhang YT et al: Relative roles of local disturbance, current climate and paleoclimate in determining phylogenetic and functional diversity in Chinese forests. Biogeosciences 2014, 11(5):1361-1370.  

  Yang J, Swenson NG, Cao M, Chuyong GB, Ewango CEN, Howe R, Kenfack D, Thomas D, Wolf A, Lin LX: A Phylogenetic Perspective on the Individual Species-Area Relationship in Temperate and Tropical Tree Communities. PLoS One 2013, 8(5).  

  Tan ZH, Cao M, Yu GR, Tang JW, Deng XB, Song QH, Tang Y, Zheng Z, Liu WJ, Feng ZL et al: High sensitivity of a tropical rainforest to water variability: Evidence from 10 years of inventory and eddy flux data. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 2013, 118(16):9393-9400.  

  Song QH, Tan ZH, Zhang YP, Cao M, Sha LQ, Tang Y, Liang NS, Schaefer D, Zhao JF, Zhao JB et al: Spatial heterogeneity of soil respiration in a seasonal rainforest with complex terrain. Iforest-Biogeosciences and Forestry 2013, 6:65-72.  

  Ren HB, Condit R, Chen B, Mi XC, Cao M, Ye WH, Hao ZQ, Ma KP: Geographical Range and Local Abundance of Tree Species in China. PLoS One 2013, 8(10).  

  Li YW, Deng XB, Cao M, Lei YB, Xia YJ: Soil restoration potential with corridor replanting engineering in the monoculture rubber plantations of Southwest China. Ecological Engineering 2013, 51:169-177.  

  He ZY, Tang Y, Deng XB, Cao M: Buttress trees in a 20-hectare tropical dipterocarp rainforest in Xishuangbanna, SW China. Journal of Plant Ecology 2013, 6(2):187-192.  

  Chisholm RA, Muller-Landau HC, Abdul Rahman K, Bebber DP, Bin Y, Bohlman SA, Bourg NA, Brinks J, Bunyavejchewin S, Butt N et al: Scale-dependent relationships between tree species richness and ecosystem function in forests. Journal of Ecology 2013, 101(5).  



  Brown C, Burslem D, Illian JB, Bao L, Brockelman W, Cao M, Chang LW, Dattaraja HS, Davies S, Gunatilleke CVS et al: Multispecies coexistence of trees in tropical forests: spatial signals of topographic niche differentiation increase with environmental heterogeneity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 2013, 280(1764).  

  Zhu WZ, Cao M, Wang SG, Xiao WF, Li MH: Seasonal Dynamics of Mobile Carbon Supply in Quercus aquifolioides at the Upper Elevational Limit. PLoS One 2012, 7(3).  

  Tang ZH, Xu JL, Flanders J, Ding XM, Ma XF, Sheng LX, Cao M: Seed dispersal of Syzygium oblatum (Myrtaceae) by two species of fruit bat (Cynopterus sphinx and Rousettus leschenaulti) in South-West China. Journal of Tropical Ecology 2012, 28:255-261.  

  Tang Y, Kitching RL, Cao M: Lianas as structural parasites: A re-evaluation. Chinese Science Bulletin 2012, 57(4):307-312.  

  Mi XC, Swenson NG, Valencia R, Kress WJ, Erickson DL, Perez AJ, Ren HB, Su SH, Gunatilleke N, Gunatilleke S et al: The Contribution of Rare Species to Community Phylogenetic Diversity across a Global Network of Forest Plots. American Naturalist 2012, 180(1):E17-E30.  

  Lin LX, Comita LS, Zheng Z, Cao M: Seasonal differentiation in density-dependent seedling survival in a tropical rain forest. Journal of Ecology 2012, 100(4):905-914.  

  Lan GY, Zhu H, Cao M: Tree species diversity of a 20-ha plot in a tropical seasonal rainforest in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Journal of Forest Research 2012, 17(5):432-439.  

  Lan GY, Getzin S, Wiegand T, Hu YH, Xie GS, Zhu H, Cao M: Spatial Distribution and Interspecific Associations of Tree Species in a Tropical Seasonal Rain Forest of China. PLoS One 2012, 7(9).  

  Hu YH, Sha LQ, Blanchet FG, Zhang JL, Tang Y, Lan GY, Cao M: Dominant species and dispersal limitation regulate tree species distributions in a 20-ha plot in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Oikos 2012, 121(6):952-960.  

  Hu YH, Lan GY, Sha LQ, Cao M, Tang Y, Li YD, Xu DP: Strong Neutral Spatial Effects Shape Tree Species Distributions across Life Stages at Multiple Scales. PLoS One 2012, 7(5).  

  De Caceres M, Legendre P, Valencia R, Cao M, Chang LW, Chuyong G, Condit R, Hao ZQ, Hsieh CF, Hubbell S et al: The variation of tree beta diversity across a global network of forest plots. Global Ecology and Biogeography 2012, 21(12):1191-1202.  

  Tang Y, Yang XF, Cao M, Baskin CC, Baskin JM: Buttress trees elevate soil heterogeneity and regulate seedling diversity in a tropical rainforest. Plant and Soil 2011, 338(1-2):301-309.  

  Lin H, Cao M, Zhang YP: Self-organization of tropical seasonal rain forest in southwest China. Ecological Modelling 2011, 222(15):2812-2816.  

  Lan GY, Hu YH, Cao M, Zhu H: Topography related spatial distribution of dominant tree species in a tropical seasonal rain forest in China. Forest Ecology and Management 2011, 262(8):1507-1513.  


  Lin LX, Cao M: Edge effects on soil seed banks and understory vegetation in subtropical and tropical forests in Yunnan, SW China. Forest Ecology and Management 2009, 257(4):1344-1352.  

  Lin H, Cao M, Stoy PC, Zhang YP: Assessing self-organization of plant communities-A thermodynamic approach. Ecological Modelling 2009, 220(6):784-790.  

  Lan GY, Zhu H, Cao M, Hu YH, Wang H, Deng XB, Zhou SS, Cui JY, Huang JG, He YC et al: Spatial dispersion patterns of trees in a tropical rainforest in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Ecological Research 2009, 24(5):1117-1124.  

  Yu Y, Baskin JM, Baskin CC, Tang Y, Cao M: Ecology of seed germination of eight non-pioneer tree species from a tropical seasonal rain forest in southwest China. Plant Ecology 2008, 197(1):1-16.  

  Yan YP, Sha LQ, Cao M, Zheng Z, Tang JW, Wang YH, Zhang YP, Wang R, Liu GR, Wang YS et al: Fluxes of CH4 and N2O from soil under a tropical seasonal rain forest in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Journal of Environmental Sciences-China 2008, 20(2):207-215.  

  Tang ZH, Cao M, Sheng LX, Ma XF, Walsh A, Zhang SY: Seed dispersal of Morus macroura (Moraceae) by two frugivorous bats in Xishuangbanna, SW China. Biotropica 2008, 40(1):127-131.  

  Lin H, Cao M: Plant energy storage strategy and caloric value. Ecological Modelling 2008, 217(1-2):132-138.  

  Hu HB, Liu WJ, Cao M: Impact of land use and land cover changes on ecosystem services in Menglun, Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Environ Monit Assess 2008, 146(1-3):147-156.  

  Yan XF, Cao M, Xu HL: Effects of desiccation and temperature on the germination of Shorea chinensis (Dipterocarpaceae) seeds. Seed Science and Technology 2007, 35(1):232-236.    

  Shen YX, Liu WY, Cao M, Li YH: Seasonal variation in density and species richness of soil seed-banks in karst forests and degraded vegetation in central Yunnan, SW China. Seed Science Research 2007, 17(2):99-107.  


  Li HM, Aide TM, Ma YX, Liu WJ, Cao M: Demand for rubber is causing the loss of high diversity rain forest in SW China. Biodiversity and Conservation 2007, 16(6):1731-1745.  

  Zhu H, Cao M, Hu HB: Geological history, flora, and vegetation of Xishuangbanna, southern Yunnan, China. Biotropica 2006, 38(3):310-317.  

  Zheng Z, Shanmughavel P, Sha LQ, Cao M, Warren M: Litter decomposition and nutrient release in a tropical seasonal rain forest of Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Biotropica 2006, 38(3):342-347.  

  Zheng Z, Feng ZL, Cao M, Li ZF, Zhang JH: Forest structure and biomass of a tropical seasonal rain forest in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Biotropica 2006, 38(3):318-327.  

  Tang Y, Cao M, Fu XF: Soil seedbank in a dipterocarp rain forest in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Biotropica 2006, 38(3):328-333.  

  Shen YX, Liu WY, Baskin JM, Baskin CC, Cao M: Persistent soil seed banks of the globally significant invasive species, Eupatorium adenophorum, in Yunnan Province, south-western China. Seed Science Research 2006, 16(2):157-162.  

  Lin LX, Cao M, He YT, Baskin JM, Baskin CC: Nonconstituent species in soil seed banks as indicators of anthropogenic disturbance in forest fragments. Can J For Res-Rev Can Rech For 2006, 36(9):2300-2316.  

  Cao M, Zou XM, Warren M, Zhu H: Tropical forests of Xishuangbanna, China. Biotropica 2006, 38(3):306-309.  


  Shanmughavel P, Zheng Z, Sha LQ, Min C: Floristic structure and biomass distribution of a tropical seasonal rain forest in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Biomass & Bioenergy 2001, 21(3):165-175.  

  Shanmughavel P, Sha LQ, Zheng Z, Cao M: Nutrient cycling in a tropical seasonal rain forest of Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Part 1: tree species: nutrient distribution and uptake. Bioresource Technology 2001, 80(3):163-170.  

  Cao M, Tang Y, Sheng CY, Zhang JH: Viable seeds buried in the tropical forest soils of Xishuangbanna, SW China. Seed Science Research 2000, 10(3):255-264.  

  Cao M, Zhang JH: Tree species diversity of tropical forest vegetation in Xishuangbanna, SW China. Biodiversity and Conservation 1997, 6(7):995-1006.  




1. Cao, Min, Woods, Kevin, Hu, Huabin, Li, Liming (eds.). 2003. Biodiversity

Management and Sustainable Development – Lancang-Mekong River in the New Millennium. Beijing: China Forestry Publishing House. Pp. 1-245.

2. Cao, M., Zhu, H., Wang, H., Lan, G.Y., Hu, Y.H., Zhou, S.S., Deng, X.B., Cui,

J.Y.  2008. Xishuangbanna Tropical Seasonal Rainforest Dynamics Plot: Tree Distribution Maps, Diameter Tables and Species Documentation. Yunnan

Science and Technology Press, Kunming.  


  Appendix Download
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China
Copyright XTBG 2005-2014 Powered by XTBG Information Center