Workshop at XTBG, an opportunity to present, to learn, to connect

The workshop about the carbon, nitrogen and water cycle during the last 4 days in XiShuangBanNa Tropical Botanic Garden (XTBG), Yunnan was amazing. I did my first presentation about predictability of leaf traits, knew some great scientists and their spirits, last but not the least, enjoyed the splendid view of tropical rainforest.

Before meeting, I did some search about the XTBG, the scientists that I wanted to talk to, the talks I wanted to hear (This is very helpful actually. Rudolf suggested that we should check website of the meeting before a month, mark all the interesting talks, and at last make our own agenda), and most importantly, prepared for my first presentation.

During this workshop, I met many great scientists like Richard Corlett, Aki, Naisheng Liang, Jiaolin Zhang, Kazuyuki Inubushi, Qinghai Song, Montri Sanwangsri and so on. Thanks to Han Wang, my supervisor, we had a meeting with Richard Corlett about his research. Before the meeting, I was quite surprised and amazed at his broad research interests and rich experiences in Southeast Asia. When we finally met him, his energetic and enthusiastic spirits showed me the reasons why he worked in tropical forests for so many years and still kept curiosity about this world. We also talked with other professors about collaboration over dinner in XTBG. When I mentioned about doing hydraulic traits in tropical forests, Naisheng Liang, Jiaolin Zhang and other professors all welcomed us to do some experiments in their study sites and would provide support for us.

My presentation went better than I expected. It was about the predictability of leaf traits. At first, I was very nervous and then I was got into the state. Besides the congratulations, professor Liang asked me a good question about trait variations within community and suggested we did a study along latitude. Professor Corlett and Dossa also advised to look at the phylogenetic signal in trait variations. This presentation not only practiced my oral skills, but also enlightened me about my future research. Moreover, Dr. Han Wang, PI of our group LPICEA, and Shengchao Qiao, PhD candidate in our group, also gave fabulous presentations.

The presentations and posters showed latest researches about carbon, nitrogen and water cycles. What impressed me most is the talk given by Jianguo Huang from SCBG. His research ranges from cell to ecosystem. He illustrated the effect of El Niño and global warming on tree growth in low and high latitude. What’s more, drought is the main driver of the tree mortality and growth limitation. Amnat Chidthaisong also focused on the response of trees to El Niño, which caused large carbon loss but was compensated in wet season after drought.

Thanks to XTBG, this workshop gave me a chance to present my work, learn about others’ researches and connect with people. In addition, it also showed me how magnificent the tropical rainforest can be.

(P.S. I was looking at a spider with longest legs I’ve ever seen)


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