Ecological studies on the timberline of Mt. Fuji
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The distribution of the meadow above the timberline and the structure of the forest at and below the timberline were investigated on the southeast slope of Mt. Fuji. At the same time, soil profiles, water content and nutrients in the soil as related to change in the structure of the plant community were examined to obtain the data regarding soil development with the course of succession.
In the course of change in structure of forest, the plant community was classified into three types:Salix/Alnus dwarf forest,Larix forest andAbies/Picea forest. The change in the soil profile, from immature to mature soil, was observed. At the timberline the water content increased rapidly from about 10% of bare land to about 25% of timberline. The nitrogen and carbon contents also increased at timberline as compared with bare land.
Relationships between successional stage and soil development were clarified on the area from bare land to climax forest. The present state of the timberline at the investigated area is discussed with reference to the course of change in forest structure and soil development. It was concluded that the timberline of the investigated area is in the process of moving to a higher altitude. This conclusion was reasonable in view of the factor of air temperature.
Key wordsAlpine meadow Larix leptolepis Mt. Fuji Perennial herbs Soil development Timberline
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