Ecological Restoration Alliance of Botanic Gardens

Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS

Restoring tropical rainforests in southwest Yunnan, China

Posted on 15 September 2016

Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), CAS is working with BGCI on the restoration of a tropical forest remnant with the aid of historical records and ex situ plant collections. Focussing on the conservation of remnant rainforest fragments and pilot restoration of degraded sites in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, a survey was initiated in the first part of 2013, to obtain an overview of the plant species composition of the entire area where restoration work is planned. More specifically, a forest fragment near Mangyangguan village was surveyed to update earlier species lists and identify restoration needs. Despite the high level of degradation and invasive species including the neotropical Chromolaena odorata, more regeneration of rainforest tree species than expected was found. Based on the survey, a draft list of 67 tree species has been established for consideration in the initial tree-planting efforts. Cultivated in Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden’s nurseries, over three hundred saplings of 16 native species of local provenance were planted in the sites of Manyangguang village and Menglun town. Trial plantings with native species have continued over the last year.


Native orchid nursery at XTBG. Photo credit: Barney Wilczak


In 2015, work will continue to support education programmes at local schools, involving students in some practical work to remove invasive species and planting saplings. Additional training in restoration techniques will also be carried out for local community representatives.


 Surveying Yin Chang limestone rainforest. Photo credit: Barney Wilczak


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