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Largest Biodiversity Specimen Site

China has recently turned a tropical rainforest area in the Menla County, Xishuangbanna in Yunnan into the largest biodiversity specimen site in the country. Covering an area of 20 hectares, the specimen site will be mainly used to study the biodiversity mechanism of tropical forests. It will also be an evidence for studying the response of forest ecosystems to environmental changes. CAO Min, head of the specimen site, told reporters that since 2006, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden and Xishuangbanna Nature Conservation Administration have worked hard to establish the specimen site, including site selection, measurement, specimen identification, tree labeling, sign hanging, tree caliber measurement, and tree positioning. Field survey has shown that there are 95,834 trees with a caliber =1cm on the site, with 95,498 of them having been identified. 468 tree species belong to 70 families under 213 genera. Only 336 individual trees (0.35%) have not been identified. Researchers are currently working on tree species distribution map. According to the plan, a general survey will be made to the specimen site every 5 years.

The site will also be used to collect samples for other studies than pure forest ecology, including animals, insects, atmosphere, and soil. At present, China has four large forest biodiversity specimen sites, including Changbaishan in Jilin, Gutianshan in Zhejiang, Dinghushan in Guangdong, and Xishuangbanna, with an area ranging from 20 to 25 hectares, representing different forest covers.

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