The current situation and countermeasures for conservation of ancient and famous trees in Laoshan, Qingdao, China

ABSTRACT: This study aimed to examined the characteristics of ancient and famous trees in Laoshan District, Qingdao City, Shandong Province, China, including species composition, number of individuals, origin, distribution, and age structure, to highlight the values of inheriting history and culture, improving urban environment, protecting regional biodiversity, promoting tourism economy and so on. The analyses was made through field surveys and quantitative analyses of statistical data and relevant literature, The main issues in their conservation are investigated and priority conservation measures are proposed. Results showed that there are 290 ancient and famous trees, comprising 42 species, 34 genera, and 26 families. These included four types of ancient and famous trees with different origins, namely religious trees planted by Buddhists, naturally preserved wild trees, trees with agricultural backgrounds for providing food or used as offerings, and exotic trees introduced from other places. There are relatively more local species and comparatively more elder trees. Ancient and famous trees are distributed in large numbers in Mountain Lao Scenic Area and many of them fall into temperate genera. Currently, ancient and famous tree conservation in Laoshan District is challenging because of issues such as habitat deterioration, severe effects of natural hazards, pests and diseases, weakening physiological function, and inadequate management. Based on all these analyses, countermeasures are proposed, which include regularly inspecting ancient and famous trees, restoring their habitats, reinforcing pest and disease controls, promoting studies on conservation technologies, improving management practices, increasing grants, and reforming the ownership system of ancient and famous trees.