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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Yin Daolu, Li Guohua
  General Description   The Shennongjia Biosphere Reserve belongs to the east branch of the Dabashan Mountains which connect the Tibetan Plateau in West China with the Yangze plain in East China. The area covers high elevation differences from the lowest valley (420 meters) to the highest peak (3,106 meters above sea level) and therefore offers a wide spectrum of vegetation zones. Agricultural areas concentrate on the mountain feet (up to 1,600 meters above sea level) whereas tea plantations can extend up to 2,100 meters above sea level. Before the establishment of the biosphere reserve in 1982, wood logging destroyed some primary forests in the region. Today, forests are protected and, with 2,762 species of vascular plants and the occurrence of a golden monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) population, the biosphere reserve is considered to be a ‘Green Gene Pool’ of China.
There are 8,370 permanent residents in the transition area (2001). Increasing tourism in the biosphere reserve decreases the demand of local people to rely only on natural resources, such as wood, farmland and animals. A working group for community management has been established to alleviate still existing conflicts of resource use and protection.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate and sub-polar broad-leaf forests or woodlands; Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Evergreen deciduous broadleaf mixed forest with Quercus glauca and Betula luminifera; coniferous and mixed broadleaf forest including Fagus engleriana and pine (Pinus armandii); coniferous forest with Abies fargesii; bamboo forest; meadows; mountain rivers; agroecosystems with potatoes, maize, wheat, yellow bean, Chinese medical grasses, tea etc.; pasture land
  Location   31°21' to 31°36'N; 110°03' to 110°34'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   70,467
  Core area(s)   34,845
  Buffer zone(s)   11,202
  Transition area(s) when given   24,420
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +420 to +3,105
  Year designated   1992
  Administrative authorities   Hubei Shennongjia Administration of the State Nature Reserve
  Brief description   Monitoring of water quality
Climate monitoring in sub-alpine areas
Habitat and reproduction of golden monkey
Psychological approachment of the golden monkey
Ecological studies of bamboos after mass flowering
Monitoring of succession of broadleaf forest in permanent plots
Indicators of sustainability relevant to economic activities:
Firewood cutting license; culture of economic crops (tea, medicinal herb); and limitation on the number of tourists received
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate, habitat, hydrology, monitoring/methodologies.
  Biodiversity   Ecology, forest systems, mammals, methodologies, mountain and highland systems, natural medicinal products, phytosociology/succession, plants.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, economically important species, firewood cutting/harvesting, indicators of sustainability, tourism.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Jiang Guohua
Shennongjia Natural Reserve Administration
11 Muyu Town, Shennongjia Forest District
442421 Hubei Province
  Telephone   (86.719) 345 2303
  Fax   (86.719) 345 2335

Last updated: 12/12/2007

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