Resident-initiated Practice of a Habitat of Iris rossii, a National Natural Monument in the Rural Landscape of Japan
Iris rossii Baker, a threatened herbaceous plant in Japan, occurs in sunny habitats such as sparse pine forest and seminatural grassland. This species is distributed in China, Korea, and Japan. Because it reaches its southern limit in Japan, some I. rossii habitats have been designated as national natural monuments by the Japanese government. In these habitats, resident-initiated management is often performed, which has made major contributions to conservation. This chapter describes the relation between traditional land use and the condition of the habitat of I. rossii in a locality in southwestern Japan, the contribution of resident-initiated habitat practice and population monitoring in this locality during recent years, and current and future challenges for conservation of this species.
The author would like to express gratitude to Mr. Shoji Tokimoto and other staff of the Mihara Municipal Board of Education, Mr. Fumio Kumada, a former chairman, and many members of the Society for Preservation of I. rossii, and the Forest Support Club for their cooperation and support in this study. Thanks are also due to Mr. Keizo Ishimaru, Mr. Yoshitaka Yamada, Ms. Yuko Maruyama, Mr. Hirokazu Yoshikawa, and Ms. Setsuko Naito for their field assistance. I am deeply grateful to Prof. Nobukazu Nakagoshi, the leader of the investigation group of this study. He also reviewed the manuscript and provided useful comments.
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