Skip to main content Accessibility help

Conservation and development in conflict: regeneration of wild Davidia involucrata (Nyssaceae) communities weakened by bamboo management in south-central China

  • Shenhua Qian (a1), Cindy Q. Tang (a2), Sirong Yi (a3), Liang Zhao (a4), Kun Song (a5) and Yongchuan Yang (a4)...


Protected areas, including nature reserves and management areas, are established for the conservation of biological diversity and protection of the associated natural and cultural resources. These objectives, however, are often in conflict with socio-economic development. We investigated the plant communities dominated by the dove tree Davidia involucrata in a nature reserve on Mount Jinfo, China, where people intensively manage large areas of bamboo stands. We found a significant lack of small-sized main stems of D. involucrata (0–25 cm diameter at breast height; height > 1.3 m) and newly emerging sprouts in the reserve. The height-class distribution showed a unimodal pattern, with most individuals (of both D. involucrata and co-occurring species) concentrated in the 16–28 m height-class, and few individuals in the shrub and sub-canopy layer (1.3–8 m). Existing practices to facilitate the spread of bamboo stands, and the need to develop a local market for bamboo shoots received little consideration when the nature reserve was established in 1979 to protect D. involucrata. To conserve D. involucrata on Mount Jinfo the appropriate authorities and local parties involved in bamboo harvesting need to focus on methods that are favourable to the life history of this and other tree species, and strategies for their regeneration. These methods will also benefit the conservation of other highly valued trees that share similar life-history characteristics with D. involucrata.


Corresponding author

(Corresponding author) E-mail
(Corresponding author) E-mail


Hide All

Also at: Key Laboratory of Three Gorges Reservoir Region's Eco-Environment, National Centre for International Research of Low-carbon and Green Buildings, and Joint International Research Laboratory of Green Building and Built Environment, Ministry of Education, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China



Hide All
Berkes, F., Colding, J. & Folke, C. (2008) Navigating Social–Ecological Systems: Building Resilience for Complexity and Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Berkes, F., Folke, C. & Colding, J. (2000) Linking Social and Ecological Systems: Management Practices and Social Mechanisms for Building Resilience. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Coggins, C.R. (2000) Wildlife conservation and bamboo management in China's southeast uplands. Geographical Review, 90, 83111.
Daily, G. & Ellison, K. (2012) The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable. Island Press, Washington, DC, USA.
Davis, A. & Ruddle, K. (2010) Constructing confidence: rational skepticism and systematic enquiry in local ecological knowledge research. Ecological Applications, 20, 880894.
DeFries, R., Hansen, A., Turner, B.L., Reid, R. & Liu, J. (2007) Land use change around protected areas: management to balance human needs and ecological function. Ecological Applications, 17, 10311038.
Dudley, N. & Stoulton, S. (2008) Defining Protected Areas: An International Conference in Almeria, Spain. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Gardener, W.H. (1972) E. H. Wilson's first trip to China. Arnoldia, 32, 103115.
Gardner, T.A., Barlow, J., Chazdon, R., Ewers, R.M., Harvey, C.A., Peres, C.A. & Sodhi, N.S. (2009) Prospects for tropical forest biodiversity in a human-modified world. Ecology Letters, 12, 561582.
Guan, L., Sun, G. & Cao, S. (2011) China's bureaucracy hinders environmental recovery. Ambio, 40, 9699.
Kisanuki, H., Kudo, T. & Nakai, A. (2012) Removing aboveground vegetation facilitates survival but slows height growth of spruce saplings in a fenced, degraded sub-alpine forest in central Japan. Journal of Forest Research, 17, 110115.
Li, Q.-Y., Zhang, Z.-W., Tao, J.-P., Liu, J.-H. & Yong, X.-H. (2014) Effect of elevation and canopy condition on morphological traits and leaf fluctuating asymmetry of a bamboo, Chimonobambusa utilis in Jinfo Mountain Nature Reserve, Southwest China. Sains Malaysiana, 43, 11191125.
Li, Y.-X. (2003) Present state and perspectives of biological study on Davidia involucrata. Journal of China West Normal University (Natural Sciences), 24, 269275. [In Chinese, with English abstract]
Liu, J., Dietz, T., Carpenter, S.R., Alberti, M., Folke, C., Moran, E. et al. (2007) Complexity of coupled human and natural systems. Science, 317, 15131516.
López-Pujol, J. & Ren, M.-X. (2010) China: a hot spot of relict plant taxa. In Biodiversity Hotspots (eds Rescigno, V. & Maletta, S.), pp. 123137. Nova Science Publishers, New York, USA.
Ma, K. (2016) Conservation of world natural heritage should be ensured and its contribution to local sustainable development promoted. Biodiversity Science, 24, 861862. [In Chinese, with English abstract]
Ma, Y. & Li, J. (2005) Population structure of Davidia involucrata in Mt. Seven-sister Natural Reserve of central China's Hubei Province. Journal of Beijing Forestry University, 27, 1216. [In Chinese, with English abstract]
Ma, Z., Li, B., Li, W., Han, N., Chen, J. & Watkinson, A.R. (2009) Conflicts between biodiversity conservation and development in a biosphere reserve. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46, 527535.
Manchester, S.R., Chen, Z.-D., Lu, A.-M. & Uemura, K. (2009) Eastern Asian endemic seed plant genera and their paleogeographic history throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 47, 142.
McNeely, J.A. (1990) The future of national parks. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 32, 1641.
Miller-Rushing, A.J., Primack, R.B., Ma, K. & Zhou, Z.-Q. (2016) A Chinese approach to protected areas: a case study comparison with the United States. Biological Conservation,
Myers, N., Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., da Fonseca, G.A.B. & Kent, J. (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature, 403, 853858.
Nanchuan District People's Government (2016) Industrial Development of the Bamboo Shoot in Nanchuan District. Nanchuan District People's Government, Nanchuan, Chongqing. Http:// [accessed 20 December 2016]. [In Chinese]
Newmark, W.D., Leonard, N.L., Sariko, H.I. & Gamassa, D.-G.M. (1993) Conservation attitudes of local people living adjacent to five protected areas in Tanzania. Biological Conservation, 63, 177183.
Ohsawa, M. (1984) Differentiation of vegetation zones and species strategies in the subalpine region of Mt. Fuji. Vegetatio, 57, 1552.
Ohsawa, M. (1991) Structural comparison of tropical montane rain forests along latitudinal and altitudinal gradients in south and east Asia. Vegetatio, 97, 110.
Qian, S., Yang, Y., Tang, C.Q., Momohara, A., Yi, S. & Ohsawa, M. (2016) Effective conservation measures are needed for wild Cathaya argyrophylla populations in China: insights from the population structure and regeneration characteristics. Forest Ecology and Management, 361, 358367.
Quesada, M., Sanchez-Azofeifa, G.A., Alvarez-Añorve, M., Stoner, K.E., Avila-Cabadilla, L., Calvo-Alvarado, J. et al. (2009) Succession and management of tropical dry forests in the Americas: review and new perspectives. Forest Ecology and Management, 258, 10141024.
Raymond, C.M., Fazey, I., Reed, M.S., Stringer, L.C., Robinson, G.M. & Evely, A.C. (2010) Integrating local and scientific knowledge for environmental management. Journal of Environmental Management, 91, 17661777.
Takahashi, K., Uemura, S., Suzuki, J.-I. & Hara, T. (2003) Effects of understory dwarf bamboo on soil water and the growth of overstory trees in a dense secondary Betula ermanii forest, northern Japan. Ecological Research, 18, 767774.
Tang, C.Q., Dong, Y.-F., Herrando-Moraira, S., Matsui, T., Ohashi, H., He, L.-Y. et al. (2017) Potential effects of climate change on geographic distribution of the Tertiary relict tree species Davidia involucrata in China. Scientific Reports, 7,
Tang, C.Q. & Ohsawa, M. (2002) Tertiary relic deciduous forests on a humid subtropical mountain, Mt. Emei, Sichuan, China. Folia Geobotanica, 37, 93106.
Tang, C.Q., Peng, M.-C., He, L.-Y., Ohsawa, M., Wang, C.-Y., Xie, T.-H. et al. (2013) Population persistence of a Tertiary relict tree Tetracentron sinense on the Ailao Mountains, Yunnan, China. Journal of Plant Research, 126, 651659.
Tang, C.Q., Werger, M.J.A., Ohsawa, M. & Yang, Y. (2014) Habitats of Tertiary relict trees in China. In Endemism in Vascular Plants (ed. Hobohm, C.), pp. 311321. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
Tang, C.Q., Yang, Y., Ohsawa, M., Momohara, A., Hara, M., Cheng, S. & Fan, S. (2011) Population structure of relict Metasequoia glyptostroboides and its habitat fragmentation and degradation in South-Central China. Biological Conservation, 144, 279289.
Tang, C.Q., Yang, Y., Ohsawa, M., Yi, S.-R., Momohara, A., Su, W.-H. et al. (2012) Evidence for the persistence of wild Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgoaceae) populations in the Dalou Mountains, southwestern China. American Journal of Botany, 99, 14081414.
The Nanchuan Local Chronicle Editorial Committee (2014) Nanchuan District Annuals (1986–2006). China Local Records Publishing, Chongqing, China. [In Chinese]
Vanderplank, S., Moreira-Muñoz, A., Hobohm, C., Pils, G., Noroozi, J., Clark, V.R. et al. (2014) Endemism in mainland regions—case studies. In Endemism in Vascular Plants (ed. Hobohm, C.), pp. 205308. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
Volis, S. (2016) How to conserve threatened Chinese plant species with extremely small populations? Plant Diversity, 38, 4552.
Wang, C.-H. & Buckley, R. (2010) Shengtai anquan: managing tourism and environment in China's forest parks. Ambio, 39, 451453.
Wang, G., Innes, J.L., Wu, S.W., Krzyzanowski, J., Yin, Y., Dai, S. et al. (2012) National park development in China: conservation or commercialization? Ambio, 41, 247261.
Wang, L., Jia, Y., Zhang, X. & Qin, H. (2015) Overview of higher plant diversity in China. Biodiversity Science, 23, 217224. [In Chinese, with English abstract]
Wang, S. & Xie, Y. (2004) China Species Red List. Volume I. Red List. Higher Education Press, Beijing, China.
Wang, X., Ma, L., Guo, B., Fan, S. & Tan, J. (2005) Analysis on the changes of the original Metasequoia glyptostroboides population and its environment in Lichuan, Hubei from 1948 to 2003. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 25, 972977. [In Chinese, with English abstract]
Wu, J. (2013) Landscape sustainability science: ecosystem services and human well-being in changing landscapes. Landscape Ecology, 28, 9991023.
Xu, J., Chen, L., Lu, Y. & Fu, B. (2006) Local people's perceptions as decision support for protected area management in Wolong Biosphere Reserve, China. Journal of Environmental Management, 78, 362372.
Xu, J., Zhang, Z., Liu, W. & McGowan, P.J.K. (2012) A review and assessment of nature reserve policy in China: advances, challenges and opportunities. Oryx, 46, 554562.
Xu, J.-Y., Chen, L.-D., Lu, Y.-H. & Fu, B.-J. (2007) Sustainability evaluation of the Grain for Green Project: from local people's responses to ecological effectiveness in Wolong Nature Reserve. Environmental Management, 40, 113122.
Zhang, J., Li, Z., Fritsch, P.W., Tian, H., Yang, A. & Yao, X. (2015) Phylogeography and genetic structure of a Tertiary relict tree species, Tapiscia sinensis (Tapisciaceae): implications for conservation. Annals of Botany, 116, 727737.
Zhang, L., Luo, Z., Mallon, D., Li, C. & Jiang, Z. (2016) Biodiversity conservation status in China's growing protected areas. Biological Conservation,
Zhang, W., Cao, G.-X., Liu, G.-H. & Liu, X. (2008) Population structure and distribution pattern of Davidia involucrata at Labahe Nature Reserve of Sichuan Province. Journal of Zhejiang Forestry College, 25, 451457. [In Chinese, with English abstract]
Zheng, H. & Cao, S. (2015) Threats to China's biodiversity by contradictions policy. Ambio, 44, 2333.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed