Plant Diversity ›› 2015, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (01): 93-98.DOI: 10.7677/ynzwyj201514051

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Forest Transition in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan

 ZHAI  De-Li-1、2、3, XiU  Jian-Chu-1、2, DAI  Zhi-Cong-3   

  1. 1 Center of Mountain Ecosystem System (CMES), Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201,
    China; 2 World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Central and East Asia Office, Kunming 650201, China; 3 Institute of Environment
    and Ecology, School of the Environment and Safety Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212013, China
  • Received:2014-03-25 Online:2015-01-25 Published:2014-07-29
  • Supported by:

     National Natural Science Foundation of China (31300403); China Pastdoctoral Science Foundation (2013M540722); CGIAR Research Program 6: Forests, Trees, and Agroforestry


Forest transition is a process of overall forest cover from net loss to net gain over time. Forest transition especially the process after turning point from deforestation to reforestation has inspired lots of researches for its potential to improve environmental services. China has undergone forest transition since the 1980s. However, in tropical China, deforestation was still existed, while the overall forest cover increased greatly. To investigate this issue, we conducted this research by classifying overall forest into natural forest and plantation in Xishuangbanna, which has  undergone forest transition and deforestation and overall forest cover increasing. We found that natural forest continues decreasing while overall forest cover increasing and plantation expansion in forest transition. The forest transition in Xishuangbanna was found to be a tree cover transition, which was mainly contributed by large plantation expansion. In Xishuangbanna, deforestation is still undergoing after its overall forest cover transition occurred in 1988. The general overall forest definition used by forest transition will not be able to recognize deforestation when natural forests are displaced by plantations because the overall forest cover remains unchanged or even increasing. We therefore recommended to classify forest types in forest transition researches.

Key words: Xishuangbanna, Forest transition, Forest type, Deforestation, Rubber plantation

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