Biodiv Sci ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (11): 1203-1219.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015313

• Special Feature: Chinese Biodiversity Monitoring and Research Network (Sino BON) • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Chinese forest biodiversity monitoring: scientific foundations and strategic planning

Xiangcheng Mi1, Jing Guo1, Zhanqing Hao2, Zongqiang Xie1,*(), Ke Guo1, Keping Ma1   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    2 Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016
  • Received:2015-11-12 Accepted:2016-08-10 Online:2016-11-20 Published:2016-12-14
  • Contact: Xie Zongqiang


The management and restoration of forest biodiversity is strongly dependent on information regarding biodiversity monitoring. The design of a monitoring network consists of monitoring objects and variables, an effective sampling strategy, data collection and analyses, network maintenance, and organization. Firstly, we reviewed the roles of these components in designing an effective monitoring network. We then introduced five large biodiversity networks, namely, GEO BON (Group on Earth Observations-Biodiversity Observation Network), ForestGEO (Forest Global Earth Observatory), TEAM (Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network), Pan-European Forest Monitoring Network, and RAINFOR (Amazonian Forest Inventory Network). Finally, we reviewed the history of Chinese forest biodiversity monitoring, and put forward the aims, monitoring variables and methods, and sampling strategy for forests in the Chinese Biodiversity Monitoring Network. Chinese forest biodiversity monitoring was based on a national forest resource inventory and long-term research of forests ecosystem from 1970s to 1980s. Regulations and methods of biodiversity monitoring were defined during the establishment and operation of the Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Networks (Sino BON-CForBio). Sino BON-CForBio has important achievements in biodiversity monitoring and maintenance. The planning aims of Sino BON-CForBio include: (1) to study biodiversity maintenance mechanisms of typical zonal forests, (2) to monitor trends of forest biodiversity change and to explore mechanisms at the national scale, and (3) to study the effects of biodiversity change based on manipulation experiments. Results will provide scientific foundations for management and restoration of forest biodiversity. The framework and sampling strategy of Sino BON-CForBio are based on the regionalization of forest vegetation. The framework for Sino BON-CForBio includes four levels of forest biodiversity monitoring. We will integrate essential biodiversity variables and indicators of conventional forest surveys as monitoring variables for Sino BON-CForBio. Sino BON-CForBio aims to establish forest biodiversity monitoring networks at the national scale and will continue to explore mechanisms of biodiversity maintenance and the effects of biodiversity change. In addition, Sino BON-CForBio will monitor the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation and validate the mechanisms of biodiversity change for key ecological conservation projects.

Key words: monitoring networks, design framework, top-down design, regulations and indicators system, sampling strategy, essential biodiversity variables, effectiveness monitoring, validation monitoring