December 9, 2009

Data-analysis workshop in Beijing

Text contributed by Dr. Mi Xiangcheng

To better understand the mechanisms of biodiversity maintenance in forests of the Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network (CForBio), the Biodiversity Committee of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and CTFS hosted a workshop on data analysis and management in Beijing on 14-24 October 2009. The workshop was led by Drs. Richard Condit, Shameema Esufali, and Yu-Yun Chen. Twenty-eight people from seven CForBio plots participated in the workshop.

Condit and Esufali used BCI plot data to demonstrate a variety of data-analysis methods, including maximum likelihood and MCMC. These demonstrations illustrated in detail the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Participants also received instruction in R and completed a series of computations.

The course on data management used the Gutianshan plot’s database for instruction in the establishment, management, and maintenance of plot data, all of which are essential to CTFS research. The intensive two-week workshop greatly enhanced participants’ ability to analyze and manage data, further strengthening by extension the entire network’s ability to investigate forest dynamics.