The project is designed to study the effect of climate on phenology and distribution of tree species. Rhododendron arboreum is selected as focal species for the study. Rhododendron arboreum is an important component of Himalayan ecosystems. They fulfil multiple functions within ecosystems throughout the mountain range through stabilizing slopes and maintain watershed functions. In addition, they play a major role in sustaining a wide range of insect and bird pollinator populations due to its profuse flowering and nectar provision from early spring to early summer.In addition to their ecological value, tree rhododendrons are of cultural importance to local people. The World Agroforestry database included this species as important fuelwood species. This is one of the potential agroforestry species in steep slopes of mountain terrain in Himalayas. Research on the effect of temperature on this species could be helpful for recommending this species for management of steep slopes of Himalayas in the context of the changing climate.
The project is running with several monitoring plots that were established in Gaoligong Nature Reserve at Linjiaphu (Tengchong, Baoshan, Yunnan, China) and in Kanchenjunga Conservation Area at Ghunsa river valley (Lelep, Taplejung, Nepal).
Lead researcher: Sailesh Ranjitkar, PhD Timeframe: February 2010 – May 2011 – (Extended and used the grant till September2012) Funding: Rufford Small Grant Foundation, UK and International Centre for Integrated Mountain
Development (ICIMOD), Nepal
Budget: ¥48,000 + ¥21,500
Principal Investigator: Prof.Jianchu Xu, PhD Lead researcher: Sailesh Ranjitkar, PhD Timeframe: February 2013 – February2016 Funding: National Science Foundation China Location(s): Eastern Himalayas
Partner(s): Forest Bureau of Baoshan
Field based phenology monitoring activity
Different stage of flowering phenology