2018-03-23 FullPage Reading

Research area

Tree Ring and Environmental Change Group (TREC), set up since June 2012, belong to the Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). TREC group focuses on dendrochronology and climate change in the tropical and subtropical regions of Southwest China and Southeast Asia. By combining dendrochronology, tree ecophysiology, and tree ring stable isotopes, we study regional climate history via tree-ring based climate reconstruction; we investigate intra- to inter-annual radial growth and climate sensitivity of tropical/sub-tropical tree species; we detect long-term trends of tree growths and physiological processes (iWUE) across various ecosystems from the tropical rainforests to high mountainous temperate forests. We also investigate physiological and morphological adaptations of tropical and subtropical trees to simulated environmental change (i.e. CO2 enrichment, drought, global warming). Our researches aim to provide scientific basis for evaluating vulnerability of forest ecosystems under a changing climate.   


Research topics

Regional climate history and spatiotemporal characteristics 

By using dendrochronology methods, we attempt to reconstruct climatic change for the regions of Himalaya, southern Tibetan Plateau, tropical and subtropical Asia during the past centuries. We also study spatiotemporal changes of climate variables in Southwest China and Southeast Asia during the past decades by using meteorological data and statistical diagnosis.

Intra- to inter-annual tree growth and their responses to environmental factors

Based on established research platform that monitoring intra- to inter-annual tree radial growth (dendrometers, micro cores, wood anatomy) and water relations (sap flow, hydraulic), we study intra- to inter-annual growth patterns of tree species in the tropical rainforests and subtropical evergreen forests. We investigate daily to seasonal radial growth dynamics and related physiological processes (photosynthetic, water relations) and their responses to environmental factors, and attempt built climate-physiology-growth process models, which will help to explore the physiological regulation mechanism of radial growth of trees in tropical and subtropical forests.

Long-term growth trends and driving forces of tropical and subtropical forest

Combing forest plot survey and dendrochronological techniques, we investigate long-term trends of tree growths in tropical and subtropical ecosystems. We study long-term trends of tree physiological processes (carbon sequencing, water use) by using quantitative wood anatomy and stable isotope techniques. We analyze the contributions of biotic (competition) and abiotic (temperature, precipitation, CO2) factors that driving the changes of tree growths. Our study aims to disentangle short-to-long term responses of tree growth and forest productivity to environmental changes, and evaluate forest ecosystem vulnerability under a changing climate.

 Functional traits and eco-physiological responses to environmental change in tropical and subtropical forests

Using manipulated experiments, we study tree photosynthetic, water relations, and growth of representative tree species in the tropical and subtropical ecosystems. We investigate plant carbon sequencing, hydraulic architecture, biomass allocation and their responses to enriched CO2 concentration, drought, warming as well as their interactions. Our study aims to evaluate the potential changes of tree growth and species distribution under a changing climate.

 Research objectives

Based on tropical and subtropical regions of Southwest China and Southeaste Asia, TREC group focuses on climatic changes and their impacts on forest ecosystems of tropical and subtropical forests. We combine the techniques of dendrochronology, quantitative wood anatomy, tree ecophysiology, and study long-term trends of tree growths and their physiological processes as well as their responses to environmental changes. We aim to disentangle short-to-long term responses of tree growth and forest productivity to environmental changes. Our research may provide insight to forest sustainable management and conservation. We target to contribute innovative research, improve research capacity and build outstanding research team in near future. 

 Group Photo



Address: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences  

Menglun Town, Mengla County, Yunnan Province 666303, P.R. China  

Tel.: +86-15087631430

Email: fanzexin@xtbg.org.cn 

Website: http://groups.xtbg.cas.cn/trec/