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Areas of rattan cultivation in China

Zeng Bingshan, Xu Huangcan and Yin Guangtian

Introduction

Rattan species are distributed in tropical and subtropical areas with fairly complex climatic and different soil conditions in China. In order to better use soil resources, and to increase production rattans must be planted in areas with most suitable conditions. The division and identification of rattan cultivation areas were based on research conducted for ten years which helped to promote rattan cultivation[1-8]. Details are presented in this paper.

Natural distribution

Rattan forms a main interlayer in tropical and south subtropical forests. China is the northern most region of natural distribution with 3 genera, 40 species and 21 varieties, including one species of Daemonorops, 35 species and 21 varieties of Calamus and 4 species of Plectocomia. The border in north of natural distribution is Pingyang (south of Zhejiang province), passing through Jianyang, Shaowu (northern part of Fujian province), Chenzhou (south of Hunan province), Guilin (Guangxi province), Rongjiang, Lipo (south of Guizhou province), Wenshan, Honghe, Yingjiang (Yunnan province) and Chayu, Motuo, Yadong (south of Tibet). The distribution areas include Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian Provinces and the south of Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou, Yunnan and Tibet. The north borderline of distribution almost coincides above 10°N. Hainan Island and Xishuangbanna are the two major rattan distribution centres, which include more than 90% of species reported in the country.

In evergreen broadleaf forests of middle subtropical area, there are only few erect rattans, such as Calamus thysanolepis Hance, C. oxycarpus Becc and C. macrorrhynchus Burret. The density of population is usually small and plants are mainly distributed in gullies or valleys with good water source and temperature conditions.

In evergreen broad-leaved forests of southern subtropical area, species of Calamus orientalis Chang, C. tetradactylus Hance, C. rhabdocladus Burret, C. compsostachys Burret, C. guangxiensis Wei and Daemonorps margaritae (Hance) Becc were present. The density of population was small except for C. rhabdocladus Burret.

In Hainan Island, there are 3 genera, 13 species and 1 variety in evergreen monsoon rainforests. The common species are Calamus tetradactylus Hance, (Hance) Becc, C.faberii Becc, C. simplicifolius Wei and C. egregius Burret, Daemonorops margaritae and Plectocomia microstachys Burret. The upper elevation of distribution was 1100 m above sea level and density of population was usually high. In mountain rainforests at Jianfengling, common supporting trees were Lithocarpus fenzelianus, Acacia camus, Quercus patelliformus Chun and Manglietia hainanensis Dandy, and others. In Xishuangbanna, rattans were present up to 2000 m above sea level. Calamus flagellum Griff, C. platyacanthus Warb. ex Becc., C. nambariensis var xishuangbannaensis Pei and Chen and P. assamica Griff, were common. The supporting trees were Dipterocarpus retusus Bl., Hopea mollissima C.Y. Wu and Crypteronia paniculata Bl. The soils were laterite, red lateritic, red and yellowish red type. Rattans also grew well in mountain yellow soil, limy soil and purple soil. In Hainan Island, thick, fertile, acid or slight acid soils were present.

Growing conditions and rattan cultivation

There are 8 main species cultivated (Table 1) and total area of plantations was about 2000 hm2. The output of D. margaritae in twenty-five years reached 38 766 kg/ha, and C. tetradactylus 5000 kg per hectare in five years after planting. Many rattan species, such as C. gracilis Roxb, C. nambariensis var. xishuangbannaensis Pei and Chen, C. henryanus Becc and C. austroguangxiensis Pei and Chen, grew fast under suitable conditions. In many species the annual stem growth was more than 1.0 m, of good quality cane.

Table 1. Main species cultivated in China

Species

Diameter of cane (cm)

Suckering character

Area under cultivation

Calamus egregius

0.8-1.5

Weak suckering, two or three suckers

Hainan and Guangdong

C. yunnanensis

0.3-0.7

Solitary rattan, no suckers

Yunnan

C. flagellum

1.0-1.5

Weak suckering, one or two suckers

Yunnan

C. nambariensis var. Xishuangbannaensis

1.0-1.5

Weak suckering, one or two suckers

Yunnan

C. dioicus

0.3-0.7

Strong suckering, many suckers

Guangxi, Guangdong and Hainan

C. simplicifolius

0.8-1.5

Weak suckering, two or three suckers

Guangxi, Guangdong and Hainan

C. tetradactylus

0.3-0.7

Strong suckering, many suckers

Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan and Fujian

Daemonorops margaritae

0.8-1.5

Strong suckering, many suckers

Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan and Fujian


The observation made on phenology and growth of rattans in Guangdong, Hainan Island, Guangxi, Fujian and Yunnan showed that low temperature and drought were the two main constraints for rattan cultivation (Table 2).

Climate plays an important role on the growth of rattans, under low temperature of 15°C, and monthly precipitation less than 25 mm growth remained poor.

Climatic data from weather stations were collected for clustering analysis (Table 2 and 3).

Most suitable areas for rattan cultivation: a) Qionghei area (Area IV) includes Hainan Island (except its southwest dry area), Leizhou peninsula, Gaozhou and Yangjiang in south Guangdong province and Dongxing, Fangcheng, Qinzhou, Beihai, Hepu in south of Guangxi province. This area enjoys north tropical oceanic monsoon climate, annual average temperature more than 22°C, annual precipitation more than 1500 mm and above 15°C, average temperature in January more than 14°C, number of dry months few, no frosting. This eastern distribution centre is the main production area, with more than 13 species and varieties; high density 5690 clumps/hm2. Main species include D. margaritae, C. simplicifolius, C. egregius and C. gracilis, all commercially important. Rattans are intercropped under trees including Gmelina hainanensis, Tectona grandis, Dalbergia odorifera, Adenanthera pavonina, Chukrasia tabularis, Homalium hainanense, Casuarina equisetifolia and Acacia sp.. Rubber plantations and artificial shelter-forests are also common for rattan planting.

Table 2. Suitable Growth Conditions For Different Species

Species

Annual Average temperature (°C)

Annual Precipitation (mm)

Above >15°C accumulated temperature

Low temperature freeze injury (°C)

Average monthly temperature (°C)

Monthly precipitation during fast growing season

Soils

D. margaritae

19-25

1200-2800

5800-8500

-2.6

15

>180

Lateritic soil, laterite soil and mountainous yellow soil

C. simplicifolius

20-25

1300-2800

6500-9000

-3.0

16

>200

Lateritic red soil and laterite soil

C. tetradactylus

20-25

1200-2000

6000-9000

-1.5

18

>180

Lateritic red soil, laterite soil, purple soil and limy soil

C. yunnanensis

19-25

1200-2000

6500-8500

-1.5

15

>150

Lateritic red soil, laterite soil and yellow brown soil

C. dioicus

20-25

1200-2000

6000-8500

-1.5

18

>150

Lateritic red soil, laterite soil and limy soil

C. egregius

19-25

1400-2800

5800-8500

-3.0

16

>200

Lateritic red soil, laterite soil and mountainous yellow brown soil

C. flagellum

21-25

1200-2000

6500-8500

-1.5

16

>200

Lateritic red soil, laterite soil and mountainous yellow brown soil


Table 3. Data from weather stations used for clustering analysis

Numbers

Weather stations

Centre point

I

Shuangjian, Yingjiang, Shiping, Furring, Simao, Zhengyuan, Debao, Xilin, Fengshan, Lipo and Luodian

Funing

II

Jinghong, Mengla and Damenglong

Damenglong

III

Pingxiang, Rongan, Pingnan, Liuzhou, Hengxian, Yingde, Meixian, Heyuan, Shantou, Deqing, Guangzhou, Nanan, Zhangzhou, Yunxiao and Bama

Deqing

IV

Beihai, Dongxing, Gaozhou, Zhanjiang, Haikou, Danxian, Lingshui, Qionghai and Yangjiang

Haikou

V

Ledong, Changjiang, Dongfang and Yaxian

Yaxian

VI

Guilin, Rongan, Zhongshan, Longsheng, Nanxiong, Lianxian, Fuding, Nanping, Yongtai, Liancheng, Longyan, Wuping, Ganzhou, Xingfeng, Dingnan, Linwu, Daoxian and Rongjiang

Xingfeng

(References 1-8).
b) Diannan area (Area II) includes Malipo, Hekou, JinPing, Luchun, Jiangcheng, Mengla, JingHong, Menghai, Menglian, Lancang, Ximeng, Cangyuan, Longchuan, Ruili and Wanding in south Yunnan province, north tropical monsoon climate, average annual temperature more than 21°C, annual precipitation about 1400 mm, average temperature in January more than 15°C and frost days few. This area is the distribution and production centre in the west. Fifteen species and fifteen varieties of two genera are present, species most suitable for cultivation include: C. yunnanensis, C. nambariensis var. xishuangbannaensis, C. flagellum, C. gracilis, C. henryanus and C. platyacanthus. Other species introduced were D. margaritae, C. egregius. C. simplicifolius, C. manan and C. dioicus More commercial rattans from Burma, India, Vietnam can be introduced. Rattan resources are rich, in this area, more efforts are needed to protect natural stands; further research required on sustainable cultivation as well as utilisation.

c) Huanan area (Area III) includes north from Enping, Yangchun, Xinyi, Bobai, Shangsi and Pingxiang, south from Nanjing, Nanan, Meixian, Heyuan, Yinde, Shaoping, Liuzhou and Bama of Guangxi, east from Pingxiang, Tianyang and Bama, west from the coast of Fujian, including Taiwan, the area has south subtropical oceanic monsoon climate, average annual temperature more than 20°C, annual precipitation more than 1300 mm, average temperature in January more than 15°C, number of frost days per year about 5, Subtropical evergreen broadleaf forests, commercial rattan species included, D. margaritae, C. tetradactylus, C. rhabdocladus, C. compsostachys and C. balansaeanus, etc, D. margaritae, C. tetradactylus, C. simplicifolius and C. egregius. C. dioicus and D. jenkinsiana planted only in the southern part, with supporting tree species Michelia macclurei, Sassafras tsumu, Castanopsis hystrix, Acacia sp, Casuarina equisetifolia, Cunninghamia lanceolata and Pinus massoniana.

Table 4. Climatic conditions in the six areas

Suitability

Area


Annual average temperature (°C)

Annual precipitation (mm)

Above 15°C accumulated temperature

Average temperature of January (°C)

Number of dry months

Number of frost days

Most suitable cultivation areas

Qionglei area

Average value

23.2

1940.0

8372.3

16.2

0.9

0.4


Variance

0.71

374.06

612.12

1.71

0.99

0.61


Range

22.3-24.5

1567.3-2822.7

7034.9-8941.5

14.3-19.6

0-3

0.0-2.0

Diannan area

Average value

21.4

1383.3

7238.1

15.4

2

0.1


Variance

0.34

138.64

319.28

0.19

0.82

0.05


Range

21.1-21.9

1196.0-1527.1

6819.2-7593.5

15.3-15.7

1-3

0.0-0.1

Suitable cultivation area

 

Huanan area

Average value

21.2

1576.5

6419.9

12.2

0.3

5.1


Variance

0.42

190.38

385.37

0.88

0.49

2.89


Range

20.4-21.8

1310.1-1900.3

5879.0-7135.1

10.3-13.3

0-1

1.0-10.6

Second suitable cultivation area

 

Qiongxinan area

Average value

24.5

1298.6

8947.4

19.7

4.3

0.0


Variance

0.53

206.72

200.21

0.80

0.43

0.00


Range

24.0-25.5

993.3-1559.8

8831.1-9282.8

18.9-20.9

4-5

0.0-0.0

Latest cultivation area added

Minzhong and Nanling area

Average value

19.0

1550.3

5361.9

8.5

0

14.8


Variance

0.59

147.14

265.89

0.95

0

5.29


Range

18.0-19.9

1211.1-1942.5

4864.2-5826.8

6.8-10.8

0-0

6.4-23.6

Qiannan and Guixi area

Average value

18.9

1272.0

5375.0

10.9

3.2

8.8


Variance

0.63

197.89

254.13

1.07

0.72

4.80


Range

17.8-19.6

920.9-1533.7

4978.1-5831.7

8.4-12.5

2-4

2.3-15.6

(References 1-8).

d) Qiongxinan area including Dongfang, Ledong counties, coastal region of Changjiang and Sanya City in Hainan Island, dry tropical climate, average annual temperature more than 24°C, annual precipitation about 1200 mm, average temperature in January more than 19°C, dry months/year four to five, no frost days, precipitation limited, temperature and evaporation high; Savanna vegetation, valley and small river areas suitable for rattan growing including C. tetradactylus, C. faberii, D. margaritae; mountainous areas (high elevation) suitable for cultivation of C. simplicifolius, C. gracilis, D. margaritae and C. egregius.

e) Minzhong and Nanling Area includes Longyan, Zhangping, Sanming, Xianyou in Fujian, Ganzhou in Jianxi north of Pingyuan, Heping, Wengyun, Huaiji and Liuzhouin, south from Chengzhou, Lingling and Guilin, east of Hechi; subtropical climate, average annual temperature lower than 20°C, average temperature in January about 10°C, frost in winter about 15 days per year, temperature not high, low temperature in winter, only D. margaritae and C. rhabdocladus grown with tree species Cinnamomum camphora, Sassafras tsumu, Schima superba, Cunninghamia lanceolata and Pinus massoniana. Planting site on south hill side, low elevation, without frost, small trials needed before large scale planting.

f) Another area includes Dianzhong, Qiannan and Guixi area, south from Libo, Luodian, Ceheng, Xinyi, Baoshan, Jingdong and Yuxi, north of Funing, Maguan, Simao, Shuangjiang, Luxi and Yinjiang, west of Fengshan, Baise and Debao. Subtropical plateau, average annual temperature about 19°C, annual precipitation about 1200 mm, average temperature in January 11 °C, three months dry, nine frost days per year, little precipitation, long dry season and low temperature; few rattans distributed, low hills or valleys suitable for planting, supporting trees include Cunninghamia lanceolata, Pinus massoniana and Pinus yunnanensis, and others.

Summary and conclusion

In China, there are six areas suitable for rattan cultivation, some of them more suitable than others. Other details are given.

References

1. Huang, Q. 1987. The Geographic Distribution of Rattan species of Palmae family in Fujian. Research on tropical forestry. (5):65-68.

2. Jiang, Y.X. and J.P. Lu. 1991. Tropical Forestry Ecological System in Jianfengling, Hainan Island. Science Press. Beijing.

3. Li, YD., H.C. Xu and G.T. Yin. et al. 1987. Analysis of natural rattan (Palmaceae) communities in Jianfengling, Hainan Island. Research on tropical forestry. (5):39-45.

4. Natalie W. Uhl and John Dransfield. 1987. Genera Palmarum. Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.

5. Writing Group of Vegetation. 1987. Vegetation in Yunnan. Science Press. Beijing.

6. Xu, H.C., G.T. Yin and YD. Li. 1992. The natural distribution and utilisation of rattan resources in China. Forest research. 6(4):380-389.

7. Zhou, Z.Z., H.C. Xu and G.T. Yin. 1992. Financial appraisal of three commercial rattan plantations. Forest research. 5(1):47-54.

8. Zeng, B.S., H.C. Xu and G.T. Yin. 1991. Climatic division of the cultivated area of Rattans in Guangxi. Forest research, 4 (Supp.):69-75.


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