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Prof. Keping Ma

Keping Ma

Professor of Plant Ecology,
Institute of Botany,
Chinese Academy of Sciences (IBCAS)
Secretary General for CNC-DIVERSITAS

Areas of Specialization

Plant community ecology and biodiversity science.

Being one of the Chinese scientists who initiated biodiversity research in China in early 1990s, I contribute myself to Chinese biodiversity conservation research. In  collaboration with my colleagues, I initiated the establishment of Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network (CForBio), digitization of specimens in China, set-up of  Chinese Virtual Herbarium, Catalogue of Life-China and EOL-Chinese Regional Center. I attended most of the meetings of conference of parties (COP) to Convention on Biological Diversity, its related extro-COPs and SBSTTA meetings, and working group meetings on thematic issues as a scientific advisor to Chinese delegation. I also participated in evaluations on many nature reserves and national parks in China and gave lectures and conservation advices to nature reserve managers.


  • 1987-1991, Ph.D., Plant Ecology, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China.

  • 1985-1987, M.S., Plant Ecology, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China.


  • 1995-present, Professor, IBCAS

  • 2006-2010, Director General, IBCAS

  • 2002-2006, Deputy Director General, IBCAS

  • 1995-2002, Director of Research Center for Plant Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation, IBCAS

Professional Affiliations

  • Chinese National Committee, DIVERSITAS (Secretary General, 2004-present)

  • Biodiversity Committee, CAS (Deputy Director & Secretary General,2004-present)

  • Botanical Society of  China (Vice-President, 2009-present)

  • Forest Ecology and Management (Member of the Editorial Committee, 2007-present)

  • Biodiversity Science, (Editor-in-chief, 2008-present)

  • Chinese Science Bulletin (Associate Editor-in-Chief, 2010-present)

  • Councillor, IUCN(2007-2012)

  • Environmental Science and Pollution Research (Member of the Editorial Committee, 2006-2010)

  • Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology (Editor-in-chief, 1998-2008)

Publications (since 2011)

  • Yang WJ, JH Huang and Keping Ma. 2013. Taxonomic Composition and Spatial Pattern of Endemic Seed Plant Species in Southwest China. In Hobohm C.(ed.). Endemism in Vascular Plants, Plant and Vegetation 9. Dordrecht: Springer, 281--289

  • Haibao Ren, Richard Condit, Bin Chen, Xiangcheng Mi, Min Cao, Wanhui Ye, Zhanqing Hao and  Keping Ma*  2013. Geographical Range and Local Abundance of Tree Species in China. PLoS ONE 8(9) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076374

  • Zhu Y, Getzin S, Wiegand T, Ren HB,  Keping Ma*  2013. The Relative importance of Janzen-Connell effects in influencing the spatial patterns at the Gutianshan subtropical forest. PLoS ONE 8(9): e74560. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074560

  • Liu B, Yang Y, Xie L, Zeng G,  Keping Ma* (2013) Beilschmiedia turbinata: A newly recognized but dying species of Lauraceae from tropical Asia based on morphological and molecular data. PLoS ONE 8(6): e67636. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067636

  • Naili Zhang, Weixing Liu, Haijun Yang, Xingjun Yu, Jessica LM Gutknecht, Zhe Zhang, Shiqiang Wan,  Keping Ma* 2013. Soil microbial responses to warming and increased precipitation and their implications for ecosystem C cycling. Oecologia, 173(3):1125-1142

  • Wenjing Yang,  Keping Ma* and Holger Kreft*. 2013. Geographical sampling bias in a large distributional database and its effects on species richness–environment models. Journal of Biogeography,40:1415-1426

  • Lai, Jiangshan; Coomes, David; Du, Xiaojun; Hsieh, Chang-Fu; Sun, I-Fang; Chao, Wei-chun; Mi, Xiangcheng; Ren, Haibao; Wang, Xugao; Hao, Zhanqing; Keping Ma*. 2013. A general combined model to describe tree-diameter distributions within subtropical and temperate forest communities. Oikos, 122(11):1635-1641

  • Feng, G., Mi, X. C., Bøcher, P. K., Mao, L. F., Sandel, B., Cao, M., Ye, W. H., Hao, Z. Q., Gong, H. D., Zhang, Y. T., Zhao, X. H., Jin, G. Z.,  Keping Ma , and Svenning, J.-C.: Relative roles of local disturbance, current climate and palaeoclimate in determining phylogenetic and functional diversity in Chinese forests。 Biogeosciences Discuss, 10, 14657-14684, doi:10.5194/bgd-10-14657-2013, 2013.

  • Gao C, Shi NN, Liu YX, Peay GK, Zheng Y, Ding Q, Mi XC,  Keping Ma,  Wubet T, Buscot F, Guo LD (2013) Host plant genus level diversity is the best predictor of ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity in a Chinese subtropical forest. Molecular Ecology, 22, 3403-3414

  • Yang, Xuefei, Ju¨rgen Bauhus, Sabine Both, Teng Fang, Werner Ha¨rdtle, Wenzel Kro¨ber,  Keping Ma, Karin Nadrowski, Kequan Pei, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Thomas Scholten, Gunnar Seidler, Bernhard Schmid, Goddert von Oheimb, Helge Bruelheide. 2013. Establishment success in a forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning experiment in subtropical China (BEF-China). European Journal of Forest Research,132:593-606

  • Tetsukazu Yahara, Firouzeh Javadi, Yusuke Onoda, Luciano Paganucci de Queiroz, Daniel P. Faith,Darién E. Prado, Munemitsu Akasaka, Taku Kadoya, Fumiko Ishihama, Stuart Davies, J.W. Ferry Slik, Tingshuang Yi,  Keping Ma,  Chen Bin, Dedy Darnaedi, R. Toby Pennington, Midori Tuda, Masakazu Shimada, Motomi Ito, Ashley N. Egan, Sven Buerki, Niels Raes, Tadashi Kajita,Mohammad Vatanparast, Makiko Mimura, Hidenori Tachida, Yoh Iwasa, Gideon F. Smith, Janine E. Victor and Tandiwe Nkonki. 2013. Global legume diversity assessment: Concepts, key indicators, and strategies.Taxon, 62 (2): 249–266

  • Guoke Chen, Marc Kéry, Matthias Plattner,  Keping Ma* and Beth Gardner. 2013. Imperfect detection is the rule rather than the exception in plant distribution studies. Journal of Ecology, 101: 183–191

  • Jin-Long Zhang, Nathan G. Swenson, Sheng-Bin Chen, Xiao-Juan Liu, Zong-Shan Li, Ji-Hong Huang, Xiang-Cheng Mi,  Keping Ma*.  2013. Phylogenetic beta diversity in tropical forests: Implications for the roles of geographical and environmental distance. Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 51: 71–85

  • Lin Dunmei, Lai Jiangshan, Mi Xiangcheng, Ren Haibao and  Keping Ma*  2013. Spatial variation in community structure of a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest: Implications for sampling design. Chinese Science Bulletin, 58: 69-74

  • Li Ning, Xu Wubing, Lai Jiangshan, Yang Bo, Lin Dunmei and  Keping Ma*  2013. Course root biomass of 8 common trees in subtropical evergreen broadleaved forests. Chinese Science Bulletin, 58:329-335

  • Xiaojuan Liu, Nathan Swenson, Jinlong Zhang,  Keping Ma*  2013. The environment and space, not phylogeny, determine trait dispersion in a subtropical forest. Functional Ecology. (doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12018)


  • Dunmei Lin, Jiangshan Lai, Helene C. Muller-Landau, Xiangcheng Mi, Keping Ma*. 2012. Topographic variation in aboveground biomass in a subtropical evergreen  broad-leaved forest in China. PLoS ONE, 7(10): e48244.   (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048244)

  • Miquel De Cáceres, Pierre Legendre, Renato Valencia, Min Cao, Li-Wan Chang, George Chuyong, Richard Condit, Zhanqing Hao, Chang-Fu Hsieh, Stephen Hubbell, David Kenfack,Keping Ma, Xiangcheng Mi, Md. Nur Supardi Noor, Abdul Rahman Kassim, Haibao  Ren, Sheng-Hsin Su, I-Fang Sun, Duncan Thomas, Wanhui Ye and Fangliang He.   2012. The variation of tree beta diversity across a global network of forest plots. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21(12):  1191-1202. (DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2012.00770.x)

  • Nathan G. Swenson, David L. Erickson, Xiangcheng Mi, Norman A. Bourg, Jimena Farero -Montana,  Xuejun Ge, Robert Howe, Jeffrey K. Lake, Xiaojuan Liu, Keping Ma,  Nancai Pei, Jill Thompson, Mari A Uriarte, Amy Wolf, S. Joseph Wright,  Wanhui Ye, Jinlong Zhang, Jess K. Zimmerman, and W. John Kress. 2012.  Phylogenetic and functional alpha and beta diversity in temperate and tropical tree communities. Ecology, 93(8):S112-S125

  • Andreas Schuldt, Helge  Bruelheide, Walter Durka, David Eichenberg, Markus Fischer, Wenzel Kröber,  Werner Hrdtle, Keping Ma, Stefan G. Michalski, Wolf-Ulrich  Palm, Bernhard Schmid, Erik Welk, Hongzhang Zhou and Thorsten  Assmann.2012. Plant traits affecting herbivory on tree recruits in highly diverse subtropical forests. Ecology Letters,15(7): 732–739

  • Yanming Zhu, Yanda Li, N Colbach, Keping Ma, Wei Wei and Xiangcheng Mi. 2012. Seed  losses at harvest and seed persistence of oilseed rape (Brassica napus) in  different cultural conditions in Chinese farming systems. Weed  Science, 52:317-326

  • Xiangcheng Mi, Nathan G.  Swenson, Renato Valencia, John Kress, David L. Erickson, Álvaro  Pérez-Castañeda, Haibao Ren, Sheng-Hsin Su, Nimal Gunatilleke, Savi Gunatilleke, Zhanqing Hao, Wanhui Ye, Min Cao, H S Suresh, H S Dattaraja, S Sukumar, Keping Ma*. 2012. The contribution of rare species to community phylogenetic diversity across a global network of forest      plots. American Naturalist, 180(1): E17-E30.

  • Jie Bi, Naili Zhang, Yu Liang, Haijun Yang, Keping Ma*. 2012. Interactive effects of   water and nitrogen addition on soil microbial communities in a semiarid steppe. Journal of Plant Ecology, 5:320-329

  • Yongbo Liu, Zhixi Tang,  Henri Darmency, Neal Stewart, Kun Di, Wei Wei, Keping Ma*.  2012. The effects of seed size on hybrids of formed between oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and wild brown mustard (B. juncea). PLoS ONE 7(6):      e39705

  • Xiaojuan Liu, Nathan G.  Swenson, S. Joseph Wright, Liwen Zhang, Kai Song, Yanjun Du, Jinlong  Zhang, Xiangcheng Mi, Haibao Ren, Keping Ma*. 2012. Covariation in Plant Functional Traits and Soil Fertility within Two Species-Rich Forests.PLoS ONE 7(4): e34767

  • Yanjun Du, Xiangcheng Mi,  Xiaojuan Liu, Keping Ma*. 2012. The effects of ice storm on  seed rain and seed limitation in an evergreen broad-leaved forest in east China. Acta Oecologica, 39:87-93

  • Jihong Huang, Bin Chen,  Canran Liu, Jiangshan Lai, Jinlong Zhang and Keping Ma*. 2012.   Identifying hotspots of endemic woody seed plant diversity in China. Diversity and Distributions, 18:673-688

  • Yanjun Du, Xiangcheng Mi, Keping Ma*. 2012. Comparison of seed rain and seed  limitation between community understory and gaps in a subtropical  evergreen forest. Acta Oecologica, 44:11-19

  • Jiajia Cheng, Xiangcheng Mi, Karin Nadrowski, Haibao Ren, Jintun Zhang and Keping Ma. 2012.   Separating the effect of mechanisms shaping species-abundance  distributions at multiple scales in a subtropical forest. Oikos,  121(2): 236-244



  • Xunzhi Zhu, Jintun Zhang, Keping Ma*. 2011. Soil Biota Reduce Allelopathic  Effects of the Invasive Eupatorium adenophorum. PLoS ONE 6 (9): e25393

  • Ji-Hong HUANG, Jian-Hua  CHEN, Jun-Sheng YING, Keping Ma*. 2011 . Features and  distribution patterns of Chinese endemic seed plant species. Journal  of Systematics and Evolution, 49:81-94

  • Weiguo Sang, Keping  Ma, and Jan C. Axmacher. 2011. Securing a Future for China’s Wild  Plant Resources.BioScience, 61: 720–725

  • Brian V. Ford-Lloyd,  Markus Schmidt, Susan J. Armstrong, Oz Barazani, Jan Engels, Rivka Hadas,  Karl Hammer, Shelagh P. Kell, Dingming Kang, Korous Khoshbakht, Yinghui  Li, Chunlin Long,Bao-Rong Lu, Keping Ma, Viet Tung Nguyen, Lijuan Qiu, Song Ge, Wei Wei, Zongwen Zhang, and Nigel Maxted. 2011. Crop Wild Relatives—Undervalued, Underutilized and under Threat? BioScience,   61(7): 559–565

  • Zhang NL, Xia JY, Yu XJ, Keping Ma, Wan SQ. 2011. Soil microbial community changes  and their linkages with ecosystem carbon exchange under asymmetrically  diurnal warming. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 43:  2053-2059

  • ZongShan Li, Chun Ming Shi, Yongbo Liu, Jinlong Zhang, Qibing Zhang, Keping Ma*.  2011. Summer mean temperature variation from 1710-2005 inferred from tree-ring data of the Baimang Snow Mountains, northwestern Yunnan, China.Climate Research, 47: 207-218

  • Liwen Zhang, Xiangcheng Mi, Hongbo Shao, Keping Ma*. 2011. Strong plant-soil  associations in a heterogeneous subtropical broad-leaved forest. Plant  and Soil, 347(1-2): 211-220.

  • Jianxiong Huang,  Xiangcheng Mi, Keping Ma*. 2011. A genome evolution-based  framework for measures of originality for clades. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 276:99-105

  • Helge Bruelheide, Martin Böhnke, Sabine Both, Teng Fang, Thorsten Assmann, Martin Baruffol, Jürgen  Bauhus, Francois Buscot, Xiao-Yong Chen, Bing-Yang Ding, Walter Durka,  Alexandra Erfmeier, Markus Fischer, Christian Geißler, Dali Guo,  Liang-Dong Guo, Werner Härdtle, Jin-Sheng He, Andy Hector, Wenzel Kröber,  Peter Kühn, Anne Lang, Karin Nadrowski, Kequan Pei, Michael  Scherer-Lorenzen, Xuezheng Shi, Thomas Scholten, Andreas Schuldt, Stefan Trogisch, Goddert von Oheimb, Erik Welk, Christian Wirth, Yu-Ting Wu,   Xuefei Yang, Xueqin Zeng, Shouren Zhang, Hongzhang Zhou, Keping Ma,  and Bernhard Schmid. 2011.Community assembly during secondary forest  succession in a Chinese subtropical forest. Ecological Monographs,      81: 25–41