The impact of extreme run-off events from the Sakasagawa river on the Senjogahara ecosystem, Nikko National Park. IV. Changes in tree and understory vegetation distribution patterns from 1982 to 1992
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In this study, a survey was made of a sample area adjacent to Senjogahara moor, Nikko National Park, in central Japan, to discover the change of vegetation over the 10 years from 1982 to 1992. The sample area, which is dominated byMalus toringo, has often suffered alluvial deposition from flooding of the river. The accumulation depth of alluvial materials deposited for 1984–1987 were measured at 266 points in the area, and for 1987–1992 at 347 points. Each tree species showed its own changing pattern of distribution area in relation to the accumulation depth of alluvial deposits. For example,M. toringo showed an increase in the number of trunks, and extended its distribution area in spite of heavy deposition, whereasBetula platyphylla var.japonica andLarix kaempferi shifted their distribution to the area that suffered only light deposition. The distribution area of shrubby and herbaceous species of understory vegetation also showed different patterns of change. In addition, the recovery of bare ground by understory vegetation was by different species in heavily and in lightly deposited areas. These facts show that there is a difference in the tolerance of different species to burial by alluvial deposits, and this difference is an important factor in successional change and mosaic formation of vegetation in a repeatedly disturbed area.
Key wordsalluvial deposits burial tolerance Malus toringo Senjogahara moor successional change
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