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Ground truthing and experience report from our Master students


Within the last two weeks of March and the first week of April the ground truthing team, formed by students of the University of Göttingen and the University of Anhui Agricultural University and supported by the local forest officers, carried out the first round of the land use inventory (LUI). Accessing the plots turned out to be the most time consuming and adventurous part of the work.The terrain proved to be difficult with unstable, slippery slopes of 100 % being the rule and slopes of less than 45 % being the exception. Nature tried its best to keep the team from reaching the plot center in placing lianas, thorny bushes and trees, dense patches of small bamboo, cutting grass, steep, rocky outcrops and high running streams in its way. The fauna sported ticks, snakes, leeches and wild pigs. Apart from keeping an eye open for navigation- and mapping purposes the team members also had to learn quickly to look out for animal traps. These factors made the duration of each hike unpredictable. Covering the 250 m distance to the plot center and returning could turn into a 4-hours expedition. At the end of the three weeks data was collected at almost half of the 100 LUI plots.

The team: Julia and WuPing checking the way

How to get to the top?

The way in Shitai's forests is never easy

Difficult to find

Really steep

And sometimes dangerous (Find the trap)

But at the end a successful inventory is possible

A good organization is everything in Shitai's terrain

Great help is coming from the foresters in Shitai