The Kenting Forest Dynamics Plot (FDP) project was initiated in 1996 by the cooperation between Dr. Sun I-Fang and the Heng-Chun Research Center, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute. When the plot was first established in 1999, it was only 6-ha in size owing to budget and manpower shortages, but then it was expanded to 10 ha in 2001 by the Heng-Chun Research Center. Based on the experiences and achievements from the first census, the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute finished the second tree census smoothly from January to October in 2008. The Institute also set up 72 seed traps in 2006 and 144 seedling plots in 2007 for long-term monitoring works in collaboration with Dr. Yi-Ching Lin. In addition, preliminary research for soils in the plot was conducted by Dr. Hseu Zeng-Yei Hseu from 2004 to 2005.
The Kenting FDP is located in a relatively undisturded monsoon forest in the northeastern part of the Ken-Ting Karst Nature Reserve (120°49'06"E, 21°57'55"N; ca. 250-300 m a.s.l.). It is a 10-ha rectangle of 400 m long (east-west) and 250 m wide (north-south). The topography is characterized by many ravines, caves and solution valleys. The differences in elevation between two stakes can be 20 to 50 m due to the sharply undulating nature of karst terrain. The climate in Kenting is clearly divided into dry and wet seasons. According to weather data in 2000-2010, the average annual precipitation is 2,000 mm. About 87% of the rainfall occurs between June and November, while the months of October to April are drier with strong northeast monsoon. The mean annual temperature is 25.4°C and the difference between the average temperature of the coldest and hottest months is small, from 20.9°C in January to 25.4°C in August. On average, 2.3 typhoons invaded the Hengchun Peninsula every year from 1897 to 2007, and the forests and vegetation covers had often suffered mechanical damage and heavy rainfall.
The topography survey and tree census works of the Kenting FDP were conducted basically following the methodology developed by the Center for Tropical Forest Science. But for investigation of the numerous huge prop roots of Ficus benjamina and F.microcarpa in the plot, we made some modifications on the method. During the second tree census, all independent prop roots of the two Ficus species with a minimum DBH of 5 cm were treated as “stems”. That means that they were tagged, measured and mapped as an ordinary tree stem was.
According to the results of the 2008 tree census, a total of 39,093 individuals belonging to 34 families, 74 genera, and 95 species were recorded in the plot. Most trees are tropical species of Euphorbiaceae and Moraceae; 19 species are endemic to Taiwan, and 10 species are rare species. The most abundant families in terms of density are Ebenaceae (23,140 individuals) and Euphorbiaceae (6,113 individuals). The abundance and the dominance in the plot are concentrated in few species wherein Diospyros maritima is the absolute dominant species with 22,079 trees (56.4%) of all individuals and a basal area of 101.6 m2 (22.5%) of the total basal area. In Taiwan's vegetation classification scheme, the forest is close to the Ficus-Machilus zonation of broad-leaved forests in Taiwan, but unique in its mono-dominance of D. maritima.
Kenting forest dynamics plot is located in the Kenting Uplifted Coral Reef Nature Reserve of the Kenting National Park.
The relief map maps of the Kenting forest dynamics plot.Plot Data
Data from the tree censuses and topography survey of the Kenting FDP are accessible. The contents of the data include:
- Tree census: The tag number, species identity, diameter size, census date, and location of all woody individuals with at least 1 cm diameter at breast height;
- Topography survey: The survey data (x, y, z coordinates) of 1,066 stake points within the plot.
Applicants should contact Ms. Shu-Hui Wu (EMial：email@example.com
) or Mr. Sheng-Hsin Su (EMail：firstname.lastname@example.org
) for further information.
The tree map of Diospyros maritima in the plot.Researchers
Shu-Hui Wu, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (plant ecology)
Dr. Hsiang-Hua Wang, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (plant ecology)
Dr. Yi-Ching Lin, National Tunghai University (plant ecology)
Dr. I-Fang Sun, National Dong Hwa University (plant ecology)Related LinkCenter for Tropical Forest Science of Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (CTFS)Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution (STRI)Publications Link