, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 25–42

Classification and ecological characterization of coniferous forest phytogeocoenoses of Hokkaido, Japan

  • S. Kojima

DOI: 10.1007/BF00031652

Cite this article as:
Kojima, S. Vegetatio (1991) 96: 25. doi:10.1007/BF00031652


Coniferous forest phytogeocoenoses of Hokkaido Island, Japan, were studied to classify them based on vegetation characteristics, to analyse their soils, to correlate the vegetation and soil characteristics, and to provide some ecological interpretation for the phytogeocoenosis differentiation and establishment. Five forest types were distinguished based on the vegetation structure, each of which was comparable to plant association of Krajina (1960); 1. the moss type, 2. the Sasa kurilensis type, 3. the Sasa senanensis type, 4. the Carex sachalinensis type, and 5. the Dryopteris crassirhizoma type. Soil base status indicated by pH, electric conductivity, amount of calcium and magnesium, and base saturation showed a fair correlation with the forest types. The forest types were, therefore, arranged along a soil nutritional gradient. The moss type developed in the least fertile habitats whereas the Dryopteris crassirhizoma type in the most fertile habitats, and others were in between the two. It was suggested that in the island, where climate was humid with excess of soil water throughout a year, soil nutritional regime, more specifically availability of bivalent cations which tended to be removed by the excessive soil water, seemed to be a critical factor to differentiate and establish the forest types.


Biogeoclimatology Forest type Soil chemistry Vegetation-soil relationships 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Kojima
    • 1
  1. 1.Program of Environmental Science, Faculty of Liberal ArtsToyama UniversityToyamaJapan

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