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China's last mature temperate forests

Jan Axmacher explores insect and plant diversity

China's last mature temperate forests

Dr Jan Axmacher travelled to China's north-eastern provinces over the summer to advance his biodiversity research in collaboration with Chinese colleagues.

Their studies of vegetation and beetle assemblages in some of China's last remaining mature temperate forest ecosystems provide an important benchmark in evaluating the ecological success of China's massive afforestation campaigns.

The party identified two very promising forest areas containing a high density of mature trees. These are very rare in temperate China, where most mature forest ecosystems have disappeared.

Jan’s research focuses on biodiversity conservation, through studies of the composition and spatial distribution of insect and plant assemblages. In both China and the UK he analyses the influence on these of anthropogenic and environmental factors, including patterns of land-use, climate change and invasive species, as well as the impacts on biodiversity of ecosystem restoration and habitat management programmes. 


  • Zou, Y., Sang, W., Hausmann, A. & Axmacher, J.C. (2016) High phylogenetic diversity is preserved in species-poor high-elevation temperate moth assemblages. - Scientific Reports 6, 23045.
    and also:
  • Li, J., Wang, W., Axmacher, J.C., Zhang, Y. & Zhu, Y. (2016)
    Streamlining China's protected areas. - Science 351, 1160.


Jan in China

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Jan Axmacher