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Weimin Xi (奚为民 博士, PhD)

Department of Biological and Health Sciences
Texas A&M University - Kingsville


Our research focuses on population and community dynamics, mechanisms of biodiversity maintenance, geographical variation in species and communities, and how disturbance and environmental factors influence these patterns at various spatial and temporal scales. More specifically, by examining responses of populations to disturbance within a community and across landscapes, we seek to understand the importance of disturbance-maintained species coexistence. To address these issues, we use field survey data and quantitative analytical modeling of long-term population and community data.

Current topics of active research include:



Publications :


Wang, Lai, Chonggao Zhong, Pengxiang Gao, W. Xi, Shuoxin Zhang. 2015. Soil infiltration characteristics in agroforestry systems and their relationships with the temporal distribution of rainfall on the Loess Plateau in China. PLOS ONE 10 (4) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124767


Hou, Lin, W. Xi, Shuoxin Zhang. 2015. Effect of understory on a natural secondary forest ecosystem carbon budget. Russian Journal of Ecology 46(1): 51–58


Xi, W., Fugui Wang, Peili Shi, Erfu Dai, Ambrose O. Anoruo, Huaxing Bi, Alexander Rahmlow, Binghui He, and Wenhua Li. 2014. Challenges to sustainable development in China: a review of six large-scale forest restoration and land conservation programs. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 33 (5): 435-453


Xu, Huasen, Huaxing Bi, W. Xi, Randy L. Powell, Lubo Gao and Lei Yun. 2014. Root distribution variation of crops under walnut-based intercropping systems in the loess plateau of China. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences 51(3): 1-6.


Wang, Xiaoyan, W. Xi, Niels Anten, Huaxing Bi. 2013. Development of Root-Carving Industry Leads to Ecological and Environmental Degradation in China. Forest Research: Open Access 2:113


Xu, Huasen, Huaxing Bi, Lubo Gao, Lei Yun, Yifang Chang, W. Xi, Wenchao Liao, Biao Bao. 2013. Distribution and morphological variation of fine root in a walnut-soybean intercropping system in the Loess Plateau of China. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology 15(5):998-1002


Chen, Jingjing, Binghui He, Xiaoyan Wang, Yun Ma, W. Xi. 2013. The effects of Herba Andrographitis hedgerows on soil erodibility and fractal features on sloping cropland in the Three Gorges Reservoir area. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 20(10):7063–7070


Gao, Lubo, Huasen Xu, Huaxing Bi, W. Xi, Biao Bao, Xiaoyan Wang, Chao Bi, Yifang Chang. 2013. Intercropping Competition between apple trees and crops in agroforestry systems on the Loess Plateau of China. PLoS ONE 8(7) 1-8


Waldron, John D., W. Xi. 2013. Forest Restoration: Simple Concept, Complex Process. Forest Research: Open Access 2(1) 102


He, W., W. Xi, and N.P.R Anten. 2013. Chronic wind and plant communities in dunes: total biomass, inter-specific competition, and species abundance. Journal of Arid Environments 90 (1) 69-76


Xi, W. 2012. Climate Data Re-analysis. In S. George Philander (ed). Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change (2nd Edition). SAGE Publications, Inc.


Xi, W. 2012. Wisconsin. In S. George Philander (ed). Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change (2nd Edition). SAGE Publications, Inc.


Xi, W. 2012. North Carolina. In S. George Philander (ed). Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change (2nd Edition). SAGE Publications, Inc.


Xi, W., Huaxing Bi, Binghui He. 2012. Forest landscape restoration in China. In John Stanturf, Palle Madsen and David Lamb (eds.). A Goal-oriented Approach to Forest Landscape Restoration. Springer


Xi, W. (Editor). 2012. Tree and Forestry Science and Biotechnology 6 (1) (Special Issue on Forest Restoration). Global Science Books Ltd., UK (weblink)

Summary : Using downscaled climate predictions, I am currently working on a USDA Forest Service supported project to modeling changes in forest composition, carbon and nutrient dynamics (including wet forests and below ground carbon and nutrient dynamics) using up to 15 different global climate models and three different emission scenarios for Northern Wisconsin and the Great Lakes States. This research is a joint venture between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station. I am also participating in developing LANDIS-II - a widely used landscape model designed to simulate forest succession and disturbances, and related tools. In addition, I am participating in developing models and procedures to map and predict the distribution and abundance of tree species based on remote sensing (multi-temporal, multi-seasonal Landsat images) in the Great Lake States and esst Texas.

Publications :


Mukti Subedi, W. Xi, Chris Edgar, and Sandra Rideout-Hanzak. Evaluating extreme drought-induced tree mortality and biomass loss in east Texas using Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data (In preparation)


Ren, Yin, Shanshan Chen, Xiaohua Wei, W. Xi, Yunjian Luo, Xiaodong Song, Shudi Zuo, Yusheng Yang. 2016. Disentangling the factors that contribute to variation in forest biomass increment in the mid-subtropical forests of China. Journal of Forestry Research.


Dai, E., Z. Wu, Q. Ge, W. Xi, X. Wang. 2016. Predicting the responses of forest distribution and aboveground biomass to climate change under RCPs scenarios in southern China. Global Change Biology (in press)


Xi, W., Erfu Dai, Hong S. He. 2016. Advances in forest landscape modeling: current research and applications. Progress in Geography 35(1):35-46


Larocque, G.R., H.H. Shugart, W. Xi and J.A. Holm. 2015. Forest succession models. In Larocque (ed.) Ecological forest management handbook. CRC Press.


Larocque, G.R., A. Komarov, O. Chertov, V. Shanin, J. Liu, J. Bhatti, W. Wang, C. Peng, H.H. Shugart, W. Xi and J.A. Holm. 2016. Process-based models: a synthesis of models and applications to address environmental and management issues. In Larocque (ed.) Ecological forest management handbook. CRC Press.


Dai, Erfu, Zhuo Wu, Xiaofan Wang, Hua Fu, W. Xi, Tao Pan. 2015. Progress and prospect of research on forest landscape model. Journal of Geographical Sciences 25(1): 113-128.


Xi, W. 2015. (Co-Authors). Forecasting Forested Landscapes: An Introduction to LANDIS-II with Exercises (Chapter 7: Understanding Model Outputs; Chapter 11. Introduction to Disturbance; Chapter 14: Final Synthesis: Putting It All Together! ) (3 ed.). The Landis-II Foundation. CreateSpace


Janowiak, Maria K.; Iverson, Louis R.; Mladenoff, David J.; Peters, Emily; Wythers, Kirk R.; Xi, W.; Brandt, Leslie A.; Butler, Patricia R.; Handler, Stephen D.; Shannon, P. Danielle; Swanston, Chris; Parker, Linda R.; Amman, Amy J.; Bogaczyk, Brian; Handler, Christine; Lesch, Ellen; Reich, Peter B.; Matthews, Stephen; Peters, Matthew; Prasad, Anantha; Khanal, Sami; Liu, Feng; Bal, Tara; Bronson, Dustin; Burton, Andrew; Ferris, Jim; Fosgitt, Jon; Hagan, Shawn; Johnston, Erin; Kane, Evan; Matula, Colleen; O'Connor, Ryan; Higgins, Dale; St. Pierre, Matt; Daley, Jad; Davenport, Mae; Emery, Marla R.; Fehringer, David; Hoving, Christopher L.; Johnson, Gary; Neitzel, David; Notaro, Michael; Rissman, Adena; Rittenhouse, Chadwick; Ziel, Robert. 2014. Forest ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis for northern Wisconsin and western Upper Michigan: a report from the Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework project. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-136. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 247 p.


Mairota, Paola, Vincenzo Leronni, W. Xi, David Mladenoff, Harini Nagendra. 2014. Using spatial simulations of habitat modification for adaptive management of protected areas: Mediterranean grassland modification by woody plant encroachment. Environmental Conservation 41 (2): 144–156


Xi, W. 2013. Ecological Modeling for Informing Forest Restoration and Management. Forest Research: Open Access 2:113


Shang, Zongbo, Hong S. He, W. Xi, Stephen R. Shifley, and Brian J. Palik. 2012. Integrating LANDIS model and a multi-criteria decision-making approach to evaluate national forest management plan in Missouri Ozarks, USA. Ecological Modelling 229: 50– 63.

Summary : I have been studying regeneration of forests after infestation by Southern Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) and the restoration of landscape that have been damaged by the Southern Pine Beetle (SPB). This research is a joint venture between the Knowledge Engineering Lab at Texas A&M University and the Ecology, Biology and Management of Bark Beetles and Invasive Forest Insects of Southern Conifers Unit, the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station. The goal in this project is to develop a procedure to facilitate restoration planning and evaluation in a sustainable forest management context. The specific objectives are (1) to adapt the LANDIS forest simulation model for use in SPB damage restoration planning and evaluation; (2) to apply the LANDIS model and develop a SPB damage restoration plan that can be implemented in a sustainable forest management context.

Publications :


Xi, W., Charles W. Lafon, David M. Cairns, John D. Waldron, Maria D. Tchakerian, Kier D. Klepzig, and Robert N. Coulson. Simulating Impacts of Invasive Plants in Southern Appalachian Landscapes Using LANDIS (In preparation)


Andrew G. Birt, Zeng, Yu, Maria Tchakerian, Robert N. Coulson, Charles W. Lafon, David M. Cairns, John D. Waldron, W. Xi, Szu-Hung Chen, Douglas Streett. 2014. Evaluating Southern Appalachian Forest Dynamics without Eastern Hemlock: Consequences of Herbivory by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Open Journal of Forestry 4 (2) 91-99


Wang, Lei, Andrew G. Birt, Charles W. Lafon, David M. Cairns, Robert N. Coulson, Maria D. Tchakerian, W. Xi, Sorin C. Popescu, James M. Guldin.2013. Computer-based synthetic data to assess the tree delineation algorithm from airborne LiDAR survey. Geoinformatica 17:35–61


Xi, W., John D. Waldron, David M. Cairns, Charles W. Lafon, Andrew G. Birt, Maria D. Tchakerian, Kier D. Klepzig, and Robert N. Coulson. 2012. Restoration of southern pine forests after the southern pine beetle. In John Stanturf, Palle Madsen and David Lamb (eds.). A Goal-oriented Approach to Forest Landscape Restoration . Springer.


Jonas, Sarah Z., W. Xi, John D. Waldron, Robert Coulson. 2012. The impacts of hemlock decline and the ecological considerations for forest restoration following Hemlock Woolly Adelgid outbreaks. Tree and Forestry Science and Biotechnology 6 (1):22-26.


Birt, Andrew G., Valdez-Vivas, Martin, Richard M. Feldman, Charles W. Lafon, David M. Cairns, Robert N. Coulson, Maria D. Tchakerian, W. Xi, James M. Guldin. 2010. A simple, stochastic weather generator for ecological modelling. Environmental Modelling & Software. 25: 1252-1255.


Xi, W., L. Wang, M. Tchakerian, R. Coulson. 2009. South pine beetle hazard in the Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina: Mapping south pine beetle hazard in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Pages 57-60 in Peter Eredics (ed.) Mapping Forestry. ESRI Map Book. ESRI Press.


Birt, Andrew G., W. Xi, Robert N. Coulson. 2009. LANDISVIEW: A visualization tool for landscape modeling. Environmental Modelling & Software 24(11): 1339-1341.


Xi, W., Robert N. Coulson, Andrew G. Birt, Zongbo Shang, John D. Waldron, Charles W. Lafon, David M. Cairns, Maria D. Tchakerian, and Kier D. Klepzig. 2009. Review of forest landscape models: types, methods, development and applications. Acta Ecologica Sinica 29 (1): 69-78.


Xi, W., John D. Waldron, Charles W. Lafon, David M. Cairns, Andrew G. Birt, Maria D. Tchakerian, Robert N. Coulson, and Kier D. Klepzig. 2009. Modeling long-term effects of altered fire regimes following southern pine beetle outbreaks. Ecological Restoration 27 (1):24-26.


Birt, Andrew G., Richard M. Feldman, David M. Cairns, Robert N. Coulson, Maria D. Tchakerian, W. Xi, James M. Guldin. 2009. Stage structured matrix models for organisms with non-geometric development times. Ecology 90 (1): 56-78.


Xi, W., Lei Wang, Maria D. Tchakerian, and Robert N. Coulson. 2009. South Pine Beetle Hazard in the Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina: A GIS Approach to Mapping South Pine Beetle Hazard in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In Peter Eredics (ed.) Mapping Forestry. ESRI Map Book. ESRI Press.

ESRI Press

Xi, W., Lei Wang, Andrew G. Birt, Maria D. Tchakerian, Robert N. Coulson, and Kier D. Klepzig. 2008. An integrated approach to mapping forest conditions in the southern Appalachians. Ecological Restoration 26(4): 290-292.


Xi, W., Robert N. Coulson, John D. Waldron, Maria D. Tchakerian, Charles W. Lafon, David M. Cairns, Andrew G. Birt, and Kier D. Klepzig. 2008. Landscape modeling for forest restoration planning and assessment: Lessons from the southern Appalachian Mountains. Journal of Forestry 106 (4):191-197.


Waldron, J.D. , R.N. Coulson, D.M. Cairns, C.W. Lafon, M.D. Tchakerian, W. Xi, K.D. Klepzig, and A.G. Birt. 2008. Evaluating the Impact of Invasive Species in Forest Landscapes: the southern pine beetle and the hemlock woolly adelgid. The Encyclopedia of Forest Environmental Threats.


Cairns, David M., Charles W. Lafon, Andrew G. Birt, John D. Waldron, Maria Tchakerian, Robert N. Coulson, W. Xi, and Kier Klepzig. 2008. Simulation modeling as a tool for understanding the landscape ecology of southern pine beetle infestations in southern Appalachian forests. Geography Compass 2(3): 580-599.


Cairns, David M., Charles W. Lafon, John D. Waldron, Maria Tchakerian, Robert N. Coulson, Kier D. Klepzig, Andrew G. Birt, W. Xi. 2008. Simulating the reciprocal interaction of forest landscape structure and southern pine beetle herbivory using LANDIS. Landscape Ecology 23 (4): 403-415.


Xi, W., J.D. Waldron, R.N. Coulson, M.D. Tchakerian, D.M. Cairns, C.W. Lafon, A. G. Birt, and K.D. Klepzig. 2007. Landscape Modeling for Forest Restoration: Concepts and Applications. Pages 92-95 in Stanturf, John (Ed.). 2007. Proceedings of the IUFRO Conference on Forest Landscape Restoration. Seoul, Korea 14-19 May 2007. Korea Forest Research Institute, 268pp.

Summary : My dissertation research focus on the role of large, infrequent natural disturbance on the dynamics and diversity of temperate forests. I am examining five years of population change after Hurricane Fran (1996) using growth and survivorship records from ca. 45,800 trees and regeneration represented by ca. 15,000 young trees and new seedlings in the Duke Forest, a model system for investigating Southeastern temperate forests. I also assess longer-term effects of wind disturbance event by examining forest recovery following Hurricane Hazel (1954). I explore the importance and generality of disturbance-maintained tree species coexistence and the diversity maintenance mechanisms within Piedmont forests and adjacent regions of the eastern United States by comparing recovery patterns.

Publications :


Xi, W., Robert K. Peet and Dean L. Urban. Hurricane disturbances, tree species diversity and succession in North Carolina Piedmont forests

In revision

Xi, W. and Robert K. Peet. Learning from hurricanes: forest response to infrequent catastrophic windstorms of North Carolina Piedmont forests

In revision

Xi, W. 2015. Synergistic effects of tropical cyclones on forest ecosystems: A global synthesis. Journal of Forestry Research 26(1):1-21


Xi, W., Robert K. Peet, and Dean L. Urban. 2012. The impacts of a large hurricane on understory sapling dynamics and diversity in North Carolina Piedmont forests, USA. Tree and Forestry Science and Biotechnology 6 (1): 51-59.


Xi, W. and Robert K. Peet. 2011. The complexity of catastrophic wind disturbance on temperate forests. Pages 503-534 in Anthony Lupo (editor). Recent Hurricane Research: Climate, Dynamics, and Societal Impacts. ISBN 978-953-307-238-8. InTech, Vienna, Austria.


Xi, W. and Robert K. Peet. 2008. Hurricane effects on the Piedmont forests: Patterns and implications. Ecological Restoration 26(4): 295-298.


Xi, W., Robert K. Peet, James K. DeCoster, and Dean L. Urban. 2008. Tree damage risk factors associated with large, infrequent wind disturbances of Carolina forests. Forestry 81(3):317-334.


Xi, W., Robert K. Peet and Dean. L. Urban. 2008. Changes in forest structure, species diversity, and spatial pattern following hurricane disturbance in a Piedmont North Carolina forest. Journal of Plant Ecology 1(1):43-57.


Xi, W. and Robert K. Peet. 2008. Long-term studies of forest dynamics in the Duke Forest, southeastern United States: A synthesis. Journal of Plant Ecology (Chinese Version) 32(2): 299-318.


Palmer, Michael W., Robert K. Peet, Rebecca A. Reed, W. Xi, and Peter S. White. 2007. A multiscale study of vascular plants in a North Carolina Piedmont forest. Ecology 88(10):2674.