Forest Ownership Patterns Impacting on Landscape Structure of Vegetation in a Mountainous Farm Village, Western Japan
Forest management is defined mainly by the pattern of forest ownership. Thus, it is important to examine the relationships between the landscape structure of forest vegetation and the forest ownership patterns in order to understand the realities of “human impact” on cultural landscapes and ecosystems. Our study area was the mountain farm village of Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan. These forests are owned and managed by the public, communal, or private sectors. The data set was prepared by overlapping the vegetation map data and the cadastral map data using GIS. The vegetation map was created by using ortho-rectified aerial digital photographs, and the types of vegetation were classified based on physiognomy. The cadastral map data were classified according to the ownership patterns. In the overlapping of the vegetation and cadastral maps, the boundaries between vegetation and ownership frequently conformed in the case of pine or artificial coniferous forests. Characteristic combinations of vegetation type and ownership patterns, such as pine forest and foundation or PFC and artificial coniferous forest, were also verified in terms of the proportion of vegetation type in each ownership pattern. The results suggest that the landscape patterns of strongly disturbed or commercial forests tend to be influenced by forest ownership patterns at the physiognomy level.
I would like to thank the Kitahiroshima-cho Board of Education for allowing the cited figure data, and thank the Hiroshima prefectural government for providing analytical materials. Main part of this paper was presented in the symposium of ICLEE Congress held at Osaka, Japan, in 2006, entitled as same with this paper and was gained the Poster Award.
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