Landscape and Ecological Engineering

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 177–195 | Cite as

Changes in patch mosaics and vegetation structure of rural forested landscapes under shifting human impacts in South Korea

  • Jae-Eun KimEmail author
  • Sun-Kee Hong
  • Nobukazu Nakagoshi
Original Article


Landscape change in rural ecosystems is a major global issue because they are an important ecological and socio-cultural resource. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the driving forces behind landscape changes. Changes in the patterns and processes of landscape mosaics and vegetation community in two rural areas (Teokdong-ri, TD and Teokseong-ri, TS) in Korea were studied between 1988 and 2002. Quantitative data of vegetation community, landscape mosaics, and local statistics of the two study areas were analyzed. Agricultural efficiency increased even decreasing household population and the agricultural area. In both areas, as the human dependence on natural resources decreased, the patterns and processes of landscape mosaics and forest structure were changed due to changing human impacts on land use. Owing to the abandonment of forest management for 14 years, the spatial heterogeneity of TD significantly increased more than that of TS. In detrended correspondence analysis ordination, floristic compositions of forest patches of two areas were unevenly located on the ordination axes. Pinus densiflora communities of both areas in 1988 were separately located in 2002 as two directions according to management intensity. The species composition of P. densiflora in one direction of 1988 became similar to those of Quercus forests in 2002. This may be because species composition of P. densiflora has been influenced due to changed habitat environments. Finally, we concluded that the development of forest communities and vegetation succession predicted the spatial pattern of future landscape mosaics and due to the vegetation dynamics of rural ecosystems in Korea.


Forest management Landscape change Pinus densiflora Rural forest Vegetation dynamics 



We are grateful to Prof. Mahito Kamada at Tokushima University for his invaluable suggestions. We also extend our thanks to many colleagues at Hiroshima University for assistance with surveying and statistical analyses. The authors express sincere thanks to Damyang-gun and Jecheon-si for their support with statistical data. Our special thanks are due to Dr. Jhonamie A. Mabuhay and Mr. Martin Stephen Ward at Hiroshima University and Prof. Yosihiro Natuhara at Osaka Prefecture University for proof-reading this manuscript. This research was supported by the 21st Century COE (Center of Excellence) Program for Social Capacity Development for Environmental Management and International Cooperation at Hiroshima University, Japan.


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Copyright information

© International Consortium of Landscape and Ecological Engineering and Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School for International Development and CooperationHiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Islands CultureMokpo National UniversityJeonnamSouth Korea

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