Forest Structure & Distribution Across the Giant Panda Geographic Range Jianguo (Jack) Liu (Michigan State University) Zhiyun Ouyang (Chinese Academy of Sciences) Jiaguo Qi (Michigan State University) Andrés Viña (Michigan State University)
National Conservation Programs • National Forest Conservation Program (NFCP) • Grain-to-Green Program (GTGP) Liu et al., PNAS. 2008.
Giant Panda Habitat • Forest cover (broadleaf, coniferous and mixed) • Altitudinal range between 1200-3800 m • < 45o slopes • > 95% of diet is composed of bamboo
Giant Panda’s Geographic Range and 6 Mountain Regions Restricted to 3 Provinces Historical Range Current Range
Objectives • Assess the spatial distribution of forests • Evaluate structural characteristics of the forests at plot scales • Develop techniques for up-scaling from plots to the entire panda geographic range
Field Data 540 field plots: • Forest cover/type • Elevation, slope, aspect • Stem density & basal area • Tree species composition • Presence of Giant Panda signs
Forest Distribution Forest Cover ~ 30% of Giant Panda Range Coniferous ~ 48% Deciduous Broadleaf ~ 32% Mixed ~ 20% MODIS 2004-2007
Altitudinal Distribution PCF – Planted Coniferous Forest NCF – Natural Coniferous Forest DF – Deciduous Forest PMF – Planted Mixed Forest MF – Mixed Forest
210 tree species in 109 genera 22 Bamboo species in 6 genera Few species are widespread across the entire study area Species Diversity
Floristic and Phenologic Ordinations Floristic – Non-metric multidimensional scaling Phenologic – Polar Coordinate Transformation
Conclusions • Forest constitutes a dominant land cover type • Altitudinal gradient explains the distribution of forest types • Significant structural differences occur among forest types
Conclusions • A significant relation was found between floristic and phenologic similarities • Time series of VARI exhibited the highest relationship with floristic similarity • Time series of vegetation indices thus constitute suitable surrogates for evaluating floristic similarity across large geographic regions.