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 > CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology
Forest Ecology Research Group
Author: Cao Min
Update time: 2016-12-15
Text Size: A A A


Head of the Group: Prof.Dr.YANG Jie 

Ex-PI:  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 4 staff members in this group.   

No. Name      Degree     Position            Major  

1  CAO Min           Ph.D.    Professor                Forest ecology  

2 YANG Jie            Ph.D.    Professor                Forest ecology 

3 HU Yuehua        Ph.D.   Associate Professor      Forest ecology  

4 XU Guorui           Ph.D      Assistant Professor                 Forest Ecology 

5 SONG Xiaoyang  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.      



               Song, X., Jun Ying Lim, J.Y., Yang, J., Luskin, M.S.* When do JanzenConnell effects matter? A phylogenetic metaanalysis of conspecific negative distance and density dependence experiments. Ecology letters (doi.org/10.1111/ele.13665)  

              Yang J, Song XY, Zambrano J, Chen YX, Cao M, Deng XB, Zhang WF, Yang XF, Zhang GC, Tang Y et al: Intraspecific variation in tree growth responses to neighbourhood composition and seasonal drought in a tropical forest. Journal of Ecology. 

           Song XY, Yang J, Cao M, Lin LX, Sun ZH, Wen HD, Swenson NG: Traits mediate a trade-off in seedling growth response to light and conspecific density in a diverse subtropical forest. Journal of Ecology. 

            Song XY, Zhang WF, Johnson DJ, Yang J, Asefa M, Deng XB, Yang XF, Cao M: Conspecific negative density dependence in rainy season enhanced seedling diversity across habitats in a tropical forest. Oecologia 2020, 193(4):949-957. 

            Song XY, Cao M, Kitching RL, Tang Y, Sun ZH, Nakamura A, Laidlaw MJ, Yang J: Environmental and spatial contributions to seedling and adult tree assembly across tropical, subtropical and subalpine elevational gradients. Journal of Plant Ecology 2019, 12(1):103-112. 

           Yang J, Cao M, Swenson NG: Why Functional Traits Do Not Predict Tree Demographic RatesTrends in Ecology & Evolution 2018, 33(5):326-336.  

           Umana MN, Zhang CC, Cao M, Lin LX, Swenson NG: Quantifying the role of intra-specific trait variation for allocation and organ-level traits in tropical seedling communitiesJournal of Vegetation Science 2018, 29(2):276-284.  

         Song XY, Johnson DJ, Cao M, Umana MN, Deng XB, Yang XF, Zhang WF, Yang J: The strength of density-dependent mortality is contingent on climate and seedling sizeJournal of Vegetation Science 2018, 29(4):662-670.  

          Shao XN, Brown C, Worthy SJ, Liu L, Cao M, Li QM, Lin LX, Swenson NG: Intra-specific relatedness, spatial clustering and reduced demographic performance in tropical rainforest treesEcology Letters 2018, 21(8):1174-1181.  

             Zhang CC, Yang J, Sha LQ, Ci XQ, Li J, Cao M, Brown C, Swenson NG, Lin LX: Lack of phylogenetic signals within environmental niches of tropical tree species across life stagesScientific Reports 2017, 7 

        Umana MN, Zhang CC, Cao M, Lin LX, Swenson NG: A core-transient framework for trait-based community ecology: an example from a tropical tree seedling communityEcology Letters 2017, 20(5):619-628.  

           Umana MN, Mi XC, Cao M, Enquist BJ, Hao ZQ, Howe R, Iida Y, Johnson D, Lin LX, Liu XJ et alThe role of functional uniqueness and spatial aggregation in explaining rarity in treesGlobal Ecology and Biogeography 2017, 26(7):777-786.  

          Song XY, Hogan JA, Brown C, Cao M, Yang J: Snow damage to the canopy facilitates alien weed invasion in a subtropical montane primary forest in southwestern ChinaForest Ecology and Management 2017, 391:275-281.  

      Nakamura A, Kitching RL, Cao M, Creedy TJ, Fayle TM, Freiberg M, Hewitt CN, Itioka T, Koh LP, Ma K et alForests and Their Canopies: Achievements and Horizons in Canopy ScienceTrends in Ecology & Evolution 2017, 32(6):438-451.  

       Asefa M, Cao M, Zhang GC, Ci XQ, Li J, Yang J: Environmental filtering structures tree functional traits combination and lineages across space in tropical tree assemblagesScientific Reports 2017, 7 

       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.  

        Song XY, Nakamura A, Sun ZH, Tang Y, Cao M: Elevational Distribution of Adult Trees and Seedlings in a Tropical Montane Transect, Southwest ChinaMountain 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 forestsScientific 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 PlantationsClean-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 ChinaJournal of Tropical Ecology 2016, 32:201-212.  

         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 AssemblageScientific 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 seedlingsEcology Letters 2015, 18(12):1329-1337.   

        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 methodIforest-Biogeosciences and Forestry 2015, 8:45-52.  

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

    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 habitatsFunctional 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 plotsJournal of Plant Ecology 2014, 7(2):115-125.  

      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 speciesEcology 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 ForestsPlos 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 alRelative roles of local disturbance, current climate and paleoclimate in determining phylogenetic and functional diversity in Chinese forestsBiogeosciences 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 CommunitiesPlos One 2013, 8(5).  

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

     Li YW, Deng XB, Cao M, Lei YB, Xia YJ: Soil restoration potential with corridor replanting engineering in the monoculture rubber plantations of Southwest ChinaEcological 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 ChinaJournal of Plant Ecology 2013, 6(2):187-192.  



         Brown C, Burslem D, Illian JB, Bao L, Brockelman W, Cao M, Chang LW, Dattaraja HS, Davies S, Gunatilleke CVS et alMultispecies coexistence of trees in tropical forests: spatial signals of topographic niche differentiation increase with environmental heterogeneityProceedings 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 LimitPlos One 2012, 7(3).  

       Tang Y, Kitching RL, Cao M: Lianas as structural parasites: A re-evaluationChinese 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 alThe Contribution of Rare Species to Community Phylogenetic Diversity across a Global Network of Forest PlotsAmerican 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 forestJournal 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 ChinaJournal 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 ChinaPlos 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 ChinaOikos 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 ScalesPlos One 2012, 7(5).  

       De Caceres M, Legendre P, Valencia R, Cao M, Chang LW, Chuyong G, Condit R, Hao ZQ, Hsieh CF, Hubbell Set alThe variation of tree beta diversity across a global network of forest plotsGlobal 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 rainforestPlant and Soil 2011, 338(1-2):301-309.  

         Lin H, Cao M, Zhang YP: Self-organization of tropical seasonal rain forest in southwest ChinaEcological 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 ChinaForest Ecology and Management 2011, 262(8):1507-1513.  

          Fang HJ, Yu GR, Cheng SL, Zhu TH, Wang YS, Yan JH, Wang M, Cao M, Zhou M: Effects of multiple environmental factors on CO2 emission and CH4 uptake from old-growth forest soilsBiogeosciences 2010, 7(1):395-407.  

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

       Lin H, Cao M, Stoy PC, Zhang YP: Assessing self-organization of plant communities-A thermodynamic approachEcological 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 alSpatial dispersion patterns of trees in a tropical rainforest in Xishuangbanna, southwest ChinaEcological 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 ChinaPlant 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 alFluxes of CH4 and N2O from soil under a tropical seasonal rain forest in Xishuangbanna, Southwest ChinaJournal of Environmental Sciences 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 ChinaBiotropica 2008, 40(1):127-131.  

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

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

        Tang ZH, Sheng LX, Parsons S, Cao M, Liang B, Zhang SY: Fruit-feeding behaviour and use of olfactory cues by the fruit bat Rousettus leschenaulti: an experimental studyActa Theriologica 2007, 52(3):285-290.  

        Tang ZH, Mukherjee A, Sheng LX, Cao M, Liang B, Corlett RT, Zhang SY: Effect of ingestion by two frugivorous bat species on the seed germination of Ficus racemosa and F. hispida (Moraceae)Journal of Tropical Ecology 2007, 23:125-127.  

        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 ChinaSeed Science Research 2007, 17(2):99-107.  

         Tang Y, Cao M, Fu XF: Soil seedbank in a dipterocarp rain forest in Xishuangbanna, Southwest ChinaBiotropica 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 ChinaSeed 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 fragmentsCanadian Journal of Forest Research-Revue Canadienne De Recherche Forestiere 2006, 36(9):2300-2316.  

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

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

        Cao M, Zhang JH: Tree species diversity of tropical forest vegetation in Xishuangbanna, SW ChinaBiodiversity 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