Mountain Badagongshan, located in the border area between Sangzhi County in northwest Hunan Province and Crane Peak in Hubei Province, constitutes a long narrow green strip on the top view of Google Maps. Within this green area Tianping Mountain, which extends toward northeast, boasts 25 ha special forest, i.e., a typical large sample plot of the subtropical mid-montane evergreen and deciduous broadleaved mixed forests.
China has established four large-sized sample plots (over 20 ha), including 25-ha sample plot within Changbaishan broadleaved Korean pine forest in Jilin Province, 24-ha plot within Gutianshan subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest in Zhejiang Province, 20-ha plot within Dinghushan subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest in Guangdong Province, and 20-ha plot within Xishuangbanna tropical rainforest in Yunnan Province. The three large-sized sample plots under planning and construction include the 20-ha plot within Tiantongshan evergreen broadleaved forest in Zhejiang Province, the 25-ha plot in the northern margin of subtropical broadleaved forest of Funiushan in Henan Province, and the plot within Nonggang Karst tropical rainforest in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Duke forest is the most ancient permanent sample plot in the world, which is located in the central North Carolina State of the southeastern United States. It is the typical representative of deciduous broadleaved hardwood forest and secondary pine forest in the southeastern United States. The sample plot was built in 1931, but only covers a small area.
From December 28th to 30th, 2009, the journalist followed five botanists, including Mi Xiangcheng and Lu Zhijun, to make a three-day visit and inspection to Mountain Badagongshan.

Mountain Badagongshan was covered with thick snow for the time being, and brilliant sunshine was unable to melt the ice slush in the stream trenches.

Most of the vegetation here has been well preserved."In summer it is largely identical with temperate zones for the heat it receives, but not as cold as that in winter," thus making itself a home for plants which are adaptive to wet habitats but intolerable to high temperature.

The three-day survey is full of hardships and embarrassment.

On the mountain slope near the Jianzui River, we saw two caves newly pushed by wild boars. Later in the snowfield near the Gongtong Curve we found in surprise the footprints left by tufted deer or Muntiacus reevesi.
Yan Yuehong, associate professor from Hunan Science and Technology University, glanced all the way over his favorite ferns.

He took Loxogramme duclouxii Christ and Plagiogyria stenoptera for example. "They are named by their shapes for easy recognition". It's indeed very vivid.

Researcher Jiang Mingxi has finally found a cluster of Huperizia serrata as he wished. Every one had their plastic bags filled with their favorite specimens.

Yu Xunlin has taken back a Primula ovalifolia Franch with calyx on it. For many years he has seen here Chirita monantha, a peculiar species in Hunan Province, and Androsace runcinata, a rare species, as well as some newly-recorded species in Hunan including Periploca Forrestii, Schefflera bodinieri, and Impatiens longialata.
The Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) involves a world famous network of forest research plot, which covers 34 plots across the world. As it is built by the CTFS of the Smithsonian Institution in the United States, the selected plots mainly concentrate near the equator. In May 2008, the plots were extended to the temperate zone. China is the only country with a complete climate spectrum (from frigid and temperate zones to tropical zone). The most distinguishing characteristic of its plots is zonation. Mountain Badagongshan has been selected into the list of China Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network (short for CForBio), which is now an important partner of CTFS.

Established in 2002, CForBio seeks to provide early warnings for the protection of biodiversity via building a series of field stations on monitoring the long-term dynamics of biodiversity. Its overall investigation projects are even more comprehensive, with field investigations conducted on vegetation, meteorology, avifauna, butterfly, ant, and quadrumana.

In the future, in Mountain Badagongshan all free-standing trees with a diameter at breast height of at least 1 cm will be tagged with its own "Identity Card" and "Growing Record". Botanists and ecologists from all over the world will come all the way here for them.
2010 has been declared the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) by the United Nations. The launching of the IYB was officially started on January 1st in Berlin, Germany. Statistics show that there are about 34,000 species of plants and 5,200 species of animals endangered around the world, which means that every normal day there is a species been extinct.

If the concept of biodiversity is too broad and vague, we can focus our eyes on botany from the start. By doing that, you may at least name a plant and know what genus or family it belongs to when seeing it. And it seems to have a secret connection to you. Gradually you will be able to see and value the diversity of their life, and feel it related to yourself.
Due to the characteristic of adapting to wet habitats, Chinese dove trees, tetracentron sinensis and Taxus chinensis remain to live on for thousands of years.

Mountain Badagongshan, located in the flora of central China with the most Chinese characteristics, is a shelter for relict plants and also an area rich of peculiar plants in China, with its original forests well-preserved.
Translated by Zhang Chang | English script edited by Jessica | Chinese script edited by Zhan Ping | Designed by Zhao Liyuan