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Tropical rain forest of southern China and conservation of biodiversity

First Author: Zhu H
Abstract: Species-rich tropical forests once occurred along much of China’s southern border, from southeastern Xizang (Tibet) and southern Yunnan to southwestern Guangxi, southern Taiwan and Hainan, mainly south of 22°30N latitude. These Chinese forests are similar to Southeast Asian lowland tropical forests in their profiles and physiognomic characteristics, floristic composition and species richness. Studies of these southern forests in China are reviewed. Complete vegetation studies on the physiognomy and floristic composition have been done in southern Yunnan, Hainan and southwestern Guangxi. Forest fragmentation, dispersal patterns of trees, and the maintenance, population dynamics, phylogenetic community structure, tree function-ality and phylogenetic diversity and conservation of these tropical Chinese forests have also been studied. Major changes in land use in China have resulted in an increase in rubber and Eucalyptus plantations and a decrease in the extent of southern forests. The direct results have been fragmentation and loss of biodiversity. The underplanting of economic crops in native forests also threatens to destroy saplings and seedlings, causing the forest to lose its regenerative capacity. Limiting further expansion of monoculture tree plantations, restricting underplanting, and promoting multi-species agroforestry systems are needed in China to conserve the biodiversity of its forests.
Contact the author: Zhu H
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PubYear: Mar 2017
Volume: online
Publication Name: Botanical Review
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