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Faculty and Staff
Chairman of Ecological Society of Yunnan
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Mailing Address:
88 Xuefu Road, Kunming, 650223, Yunnan, China

 Name: Cao Min

Gender: Male

Date of Birth: September 29, 1960 (Yunnan, P. R. China)

B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., Yunnan University, Kunming, P.R. China
1992-1993: Institute for Biology at the University of Freiburg, Germany   Visiting scholar (12 months)
Specialty: Geobotany
1995-1996: Geobotanical Institute, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland Visiting scholar (6 months)
Specialty: Vegetation Ecology

 Forest Ecology, Biodiversity Conservation, Vegetation Ecology

 In 1997, Dr. Cao Min won the Fang Shuquan Young Scientist Prize of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
.In 2004, the research project of “Study on Dynamics of Tropical Forest in Southwestern China” was awarded the second-grade “Prize of Natural Sciences” by Yunnan province. (first contributor)
.In 2007, awarded “Government Special Subsidy” by the State Council



  1.Xu WM, Liu L, He TH, Cao M, Sha LQ, Hu YH, Li QM, Li J: Soil properties drive a negative correlation between species diversity and genetic diversity in a tropical seasonal rainforest. Scientific Reports 2016, 6:8. 

  2.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. 

  3.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. 

  4.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. 

  5.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. 


  7.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. 

  8.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. 

  9.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. 

  10.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. 

  11.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. 

  12.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. 

  13.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. 

  14.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. 

  15.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. 

  16.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. 

  17.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. 

  18.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. 

  19.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. 

  20.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. 

  21.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. 

  22.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. 

  23.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). 

  24.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. 

  25.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). 

  26.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. 

  27.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. 

  28.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). 

  29.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. 

  30.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. 

  31.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). 



  34.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). 

  35.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). 

  36.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. 

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

  38.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. 

  39.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. 

  40.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. 

  41.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). 

  42.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. 

  43.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). 

  44.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. 

  45.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. 

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

  47.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. 

  48.Tang JW, Cao M, Zhang JH, Li MH: Litterfall production, decomposition and nutrient use efficiency varies with tropical forest types in Xishuangbanna, SW China: a 10-year study. Plant and Soil 2010, 335(1-2):271-288. 

  49.Li ZH, Zhang YP, Wang SS, Yuan GF, Yang Y, Cao M: Evapotranspiration of a tropical rain forest in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Hydrological Processes 2010, 24(17):2405-2416. 

  50.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 soils. Biogeosciences 2010, 7(1):395-407. 

  51.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. 

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

  53.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. 

  54.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. 

  55.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. 

  56.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. 

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

  58.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. 

  59.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. 

  60.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 study. Acta Theriologica 2007, 52(3):285-290. 

  61.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. 

  62.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. 

  63.Liu Y, Zhang YP, He DM, Cao M, Zhu H: Climatic control of plant species richness along elevation gradients in the Longitudinal Range-Gorge Region. Chinese Science Bulletin 2007, 52:50-58. 

  64.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. 

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

  66.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. 

  67.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. 

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

  69.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. 

  70.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. 

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

  72.Sha LQ, Zheng Z, Tang JW, Wang YH, Zhang YP, Cao M, Wang R, Liu GG, Wang YS, Sun Y: Soil respiration in tropical seasonal rain forest in Xishuangbanna, SW China. Science in China Series D-Earth Sciences 2005, 48:189-197. 

  73.Muthukumar T, Sha LQ, Yang XD, Cao M, Tang JW, Zheng Z: Distribution of roots and arbuscular mycorrhizal associations in tropical forest types of Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Applied Soil Ecology 2003, 22(3):241-253. 

  74.Muthukumar T, Sha LQ, Yang XD, Cao M, Tang JW, Zheng Z: Mycorrhiza of plants in different vegetation types in tropical ecosystems of Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Mycorrhiza 2003, 13(6):289-297. 

  75.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. 

  76.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. 

  77.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. 

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




Community service:
  Memeber of the Steering Committee of Global Canopy Programme

Commitment to research the situation:
 Prof. Dr. Cao Min focuses his major research activities on forest ecology. So far, he has published more than 100 research papers both home and abroad, 79 of which are listed as SCI papers. He has presided over or participated in over 40 research projects.
.Directed and managed the construction of the 20-ha Xishuangbanna Tropical Rainforest Dynamics Plot, which is the biggest whole-forest observation plot in China.
.Determined the diversity measurements of forest types in Xishuangbanna for the first time.
.Conducted studies on the dynamic ecology in tropical rainforest, and applied relevant research achievements to the restoration of degraded vegetations.
.Directed and established an observation plot of 1 ha for Xishuangbanna tropical wet seasonal rainforest.
.Presided to accomplish the systematic research on tropical forest gap, soil seed bank, and seed rain ecology in China.