Soil Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning


Global Litter Invertebrate Decomposition Experiment

Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG)
The Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Site Managers

Dr. Xiaoming Zou
Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies
University of Puerto Rico
PO Box 23341
San Juan, PR 00931-3341
Puerto Rico
Telephone: (+787) 764 0000 Ext. 2868
Fax: (+787) 772 1481

Xiaodong Yang
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG)
The Chinese Academy of Sciences
Xufu Road 88, Kunming
Yunnan, P. R. 650223
Telephone: (+86) 871 5160900
Fax: (+86) 871 5160916 (XTBG Kunming Section Office)

Site Description

Xishuangbanna Station of Tropical Ecology (XSTE) was derived from the Laboratory of Experimental Phytocoenology (established in 1959) of the Kunming Institute of Botany, and Yunnan Permanent Station of Biogeography (established in 1958) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). In 1964, these two units were merged to establish the Laboratory of Experimental Phytocoenology under Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS. In 1986, the Laboratory of Experimental Phytocoenology joined the Kunming Institute of Ecology. In 1996, the Kunming Institute of Ecology and Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of Kunming Institute of Botany were merged to form Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, administrated under CAS.

Site Location

Xishuangbanna Station is located in the Youle Mountains at the southern end of the Wuliang Mountains, south to the Hengduan Mountains in the Western Yunnan, east to Lancang River Fault. 101° 46' E, 21° 54' N, 560 m above sea level.

Site Area

The experimental area of XSTE covers 308 km squared.

Site Elevation

Site elevation ranges from 540-1691 m.

Annual Rainfall

There are clearly dry and rainy seasons in one year, with mean annual rainfall of 1557 mm, of which 1335 mm (87%) occurs in rainy season of May - October, and 202 mm (only 13%) occurs in dry season of November - April.

Annual Temperature

Mean annual air temperature is 21.5 °C, ranged from 14.8 °Cin the coldest month (January) to 25.5 °C in the hottest month (June), with a »10 °C accumulated temperature of 7860 °C and without frost through over a year.


Bedrock is Jurassic sandstone, Carboniferous limestone and Permian limestone. Menglun Basin is underlain by Tertiary conglomeerate, sandstone and Quaternary alluvium and diluvium. Soils are mostly lateritic soil and lateritic red soil. Lateritic soil is distributed in low-mountains, mid-mountains and hills (below 800 m). Lateritic red soil is distributed in the area with altitude from 800 to 1000 m. There is limestone soil in limestone area. Alluvial soil is distributed along rivers. Paddy soil is mainly developed in Menglun Basin. There are many streams in this area. Luosuo River, into which more than 20 streams running, flows through Menglun Basin.

Native Forest/Vegetation Types

Xishuangbanna is a part of rain forest region of northern edge of the tropics with vegetation life zones classified as tropical seasonal rain forest and monsoon forest. The south-subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest is distributed over the montane area above 700-800 m. A tropical seasonal rain forest is protected in several nature reserves around XSTE. Outside the nature reserves, various secondary vegetation types are distributed over the areas of deforested and abandoned lands of shifting cultivation.

Principal Biome/Ecoregion

XSTE is located at the northern margin of tropical southeast Asia and is characterized by monsoon climate of northern tropics.



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This webpage is funded by the Soil Science Society of America.

Please contact the GLIDE headquarters (email: if you have any comments or questions.

GLIDE was a project of the International Biodiversity Observation Year 2001-2002

This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 98 06437 Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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This page was last updated on February 1, 2005

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