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Impacts on Natural Ecosystems

  • Masahiko Ohsawa
  • Takashi Eguchi
  • Nobuyuki Tanaka
  • Hiroaki Ikeda
  • Masayuki Nemoto
  • Yoshio Hada

Summary

Japan extends over the East Asian monsoon region, covering slightly more than 20° in latitude from 25° North to 45° North, and 3,000 km from north to south. A major characteristic of this entire region is its location in a rain-forest zone, which supports forest growth well. Located in the mid-latitudes where latitudinal gradients in temperature are steep, these forests range from subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests to cold-temperate coniferous forests. The mountainous regions in excess of 1,000 meter elevations that form the backbone of Japan serve as migration routes as well as distributional barriers. There are also many instances in which marine straits serve as distributional boundaries, and global warming is anticipated to have a major effect in terms of forced migration of biotas and ecosystems

Topographical features are minute, geology is variegated, and local climates peculiar to mountain terrain are formed on various scales; thus, predictions of ecosystem changes based on macro-scale conditions of temperature change are not by themselves realistic. In addition, numerous cities, roads, rail systems, and other such man-made landscapes in these areas represent distributional barriers of various levels, and realistic predictions are nearly impossible.

While predictions are complicated by the diverse environmental tolerance and migratory capacity that different species possess, general changes in ecosystems in response to environmental change can be predicted on the basis of ecological knowledge on species functions and habits. The formulation of preventive measures will generate a growing demand for such predictions in the future.

Keywords

Forest Zone Geomorphological Process Glacial Stage Warmth Index Subalpine Zone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

2.2.1 (Impacts on geomorphological processes of mountains)

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2.3 (Impacts of global warming on grasslands in Japan)

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2.4 (Desertification: Effects on Japan across national borders)

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2.5 (Impacts on wetlands)

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2.6 (Impacts on biodiversity and nature conservation areas)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiko Ohsawa
    • 1
  • Takashi Eguchi
    • 2
  • Nobuyuki Tanaka
    • 3
  • Hiroaki Ikeda
    • 4
  • Masayuki Nemoto
    • 4
  • Yoshio Hada
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceChiba UniversityInage-ku, ChibaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Humanities and EconomicsKochi UniversityKochiJapan
  3. 3.Forestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukuba-Norin, IbarakiJapan
  4. 4.National Institute of Agro-Environmental SciencesTsukuba, IbarakiJapan
  5. 5.Dept. of Information and Computer EngineeringOkayama University of ScienceOkayama, OkayamaJapan

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