(Upload on November 11 2016) [ 日本語 | English ]

Advanced course in environmental conservation (環境保全学特論)

Mount Usu / Sarobetsu post-mined peatland
From left: Crater basin in 1986 and 2006. Cottongrass / Daylily

Version for graduate students
Room# C204-2 (every Tuesday and Friday in the first half of second semester, 13:00-14:30)

A Table of Contents


Expected background: Knowing "fundamental ecology" and/or related subjects

Introduction (Guidance)

October 7 2016
What is this lecture?
Flow chart of this lecture
Classification of ecology
Life cycle (life history)

Case of Trillium (Ref. T. kamtschaticum)
MVP (minimum viable population)

Case: Trillium in fragmented forests


Case: Silver-studded blue butterfly (Plejebus argus) in North Wales
Case: Spatial occurrence and abundance patterns of Maculinea butterflies
Carrying capacity

Pattern and scale

Ecosystem (or biosystem)
Definitions and criteria of plant community

Flora (floristic composition) - Ex. Mount Koma
Vegetation physiognomy

October 11 2016

Strata (sg. stratum)
Larch forest in Oku-Nikko
Strata of tropical forest with reference to the conservation of mammal species
Herbaceous plant diversities vs strata

Plant community dynamics = spatial and temporal patterns

The problems on pattern and scale in ecology

Complex dynamics in ecology

Toposequence, chronosequence, and permanent plot
Soil moisture (or water depth) gradient
Baidzharakhs (relic mounds)
Chronosequence: Case, Fire history

Scaling from large to small

Scale-dependent factor

October 14 2016
Scale-dependent interactions

Scale-dependent interactions and community structure on cobble beaches
Seasonal shifts in competition and facilitation in subalpine plant communities of the central Caucasus

Global (biome) > Regional > Habitat > Microhabitat

Biome: Precipitation and temperature

Plant functional types (PFTs) and species attributes

Inductive method vs deductive method
Attributes for obtaining PFT: vegetative strategy, life history, phenology, and seed biology
Case: comparison of plant community structures between distinct areas

Biodiversity hotspots
Climate (temperature and precipitation)

Distribution of ferns in Japan
Warmth index

October 18 2016

Snow (dorso-ventral sturcture)
Dwarf-shaped plants: adaptation to snow


Distribution of Sasa (dwarf bamboo) in Hokkaido

Mixed forest
Vegetation map
Soil type map - andosol, lithosol, and regosol


Dorso-ventral sturcture of plant community on mountians
Case: Hokkaido


Case 1. Pumice Plains on MSH: rill, near-rock
Case 2. Tussock
Case 3. Hummock-hollow complex (Bulte-schlenke complex)
Case 4. Flooding
Case 5. Tree establishment on Mount Usu: rill, ground surface texture


Natural disturbance and human disturbance
Scale, frequency and intensity
Natural disturbance

Case study: Vegetation zonation in Sorachi River
Disturbance-maintained landscape

Fallen-log regeneration
October 21 2016
Human disturbance
Biological invasion
Alien species
Invasive species - biological invasion
Invasion patterns of larch (Larix kaempferi) on Mount Koma

Seed source vs environmental factors (elevation, aspect, and slope)
Morphological plasticity

Intermediate (-disturbance) hypothesis

Gause's axiom
Relationships between grazing pressure and species richness showing the intermediate grazing optimization hypothesis, compensatory growth model and overgrazing model
Plant species diversity in response to disturbance magnitude in a grassland remnants

October 25 2016
Soil erosion

Cases: Alpine zone, and volcano
Problems on the measurement of underground organs

Estimation of root biomass
Estimation of root lifespan
Comparing with isotope measurements


The role of duff on seedling establishment
Seeder and sprouter
Tree regeneration after large-scaled wildfire in Alaska (Tsuyuzaki et al. 2014)

Distribution and dispersion
Random, contagious, and regular distribution patterns
Age and dispersion pattern
Analysis methods on spatial pattern

Dispersion pattern analysis
Spatial autocorrelation

October 28 2016
Competition: intera-specific and inter-specific competition

Competition experiment design
Aboveground competition vs belowground competition
Competition for light causes plant biodiversity loss after eutrophication

Indices of plant-plant competition

On indices of plant-plant competition and their pitfalls
Regional effects on competition-productivity relationship: a set of field experiments in two distant regions

Determinants on ecosystem structure with reference to "scale"

Environmental gradients, biotic interactions, and disturbance

Island Biogeography

Principles: distance from mother land and island size

Mother land
Relationship between island area and number of species
Minimum area for the establishment of species

November 1 2016

Relationship between island area and extinction rate
How human makes islands (forest cutting, etc.)
Owl can not establish on small islands
Relationship between distance from mother land and immigration rate
Graphical presentation of island biogeography
Measuring immigration and extinction rates

Applications of island biogeography to nature conservation

Corridor in landscape
Corridor supports the movements of animals and plants

Buffer zone
Conservation areas determined by corridors and island biogeography
MVP again. How do we decide nature reservation area?

Restoration ecology

Management methods for degraded ecosystems
Land degradation
Terminology used in the analysis of ecosystem stability

Landscape ecology

Landscape unit: structure, function, and change

Satoyama (village forest)
Interaction between ecosystems: terrestrial-oceanic link created by food chain

Community diversity

α-diversity, β-diversity, and γ-diversity

α-diversity = within-habitat diversity
β-diversity = between-community diversity
γ-diversity = landscape diversity

α-diversity (and γ-diversity)

Type 0: Using number of species = Species richness
Type 1: Using number of species and total individuals
Type 2: Using relative dominance
Relationship between animal species richness and plant structural diversity

November 4 2016
Species richness Fischer's α-diversity index - Representative T1

How to measure α-diversity

Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H') - representative T2

Diversity and evenness

Selection of parameter for diversity

Density vs biomass

'Correlation' vs 'causal relation'
β-diversity (between-habitat diversity)

Types of similarity index
Binary data and quantitative data
Jaccard, Sorensen, Simpson, Eucledean distance, etc.
Similarity and dissimilarity

Similarity matrix

Diamond graph
Case study: bee fauna on Mount Usu

Relationships between α-, β- and γ-diversities

Multivariate analysis

November 8 2016
Main purposes of multivariate analysis

Classification and ordination

Clsutering or cluster analysis

Cluster analysis

Divisive strategy vs agglomerative strategy
Nearest neighbor method (single-linkage method)

Agglomerative strategy

From 'single linkage method' to 'Average linkage method'
Single linkage method

Average linkage method
Divisive strategy

TWINSPAN (two-way indicator analysis)

Other clustering methods

Ordination: Indirect and direct ordination
Indirect ordination

Polar ordination (PO)
Weighted average

Ordination: Indirect and direct ordination
Indirect ordination

Polar ordination (PO)

November 11 2016

Weighted average

Correspondence analysis/Reciprocal average (CA/RA)
Hump: arch and horseshoe
Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA)

Application of DCA to investigate vegeation development patterns after peat mining

Principal component analysis (PCA)

Eigenvalue and eigenvector
Application of PCA on fern development

Canonical correspondence analysis

Principles and applications of CCA on the relationship between seedbank and standing vegetation

Temporal change and succession


Classification of successional sere: Primary succession (Xeric succession, Mesic succession), Secondary succession

November 15 2016
Concept of succession

Life history characteristics, proposed by Grime (1979)
Three models on succession


Successional paces

Species turnover
Application of percentage similarity and community coefficient

Mycorrhizal types: ectomycorrhziae and endomycorrhizae

Interactions between seed plants and AM fungi

Xeric succession: Chronosequence approach

Characteristics of vegetation recovery on Mount Usu

Equilibrium theory vs non-equilibrium theory


Lupine patches on Mount St. Helens
Shrub (Salix reinii) patches on Mount Koma
Application of facilitation to restoration
The role of plant interactions in the restoration of degraded ecosystems: a meta-analysis across life-forms and ecosystems

How to write the paper for evaluation (2016)

In this term (anterior half in second term 2016), your scores are graded based on the reports. The reporting assignment is described below from 1 to 3. 今期(2016年後期前半)は、レポートにより評価を行う。そのレポート課題は、以下の1-3の通り。
Students of which major is ecology (生態学を専門とする学生)
  1. Read the two reference papers (a and b) shown below. 以下に示す2つの論文(a, b)を読め。
    1. Walker LR, Wardle DA, Bardgett RD, Clarkson BD. 2010. The use of chronosequences in studies of ecological succession and soil development. Journal of Ecology 98: 725-736
      P Click here to downlaod the file
    2. Johnson EA, Miyanishi K. 2008. Testing the assumptions of chronosequences in succession. Ecology Letters 11: 419-431
      P Click here to downlaod the file
Students of which majors are not ecology (生態学を専門としない学生)
  1. Read the two reference papers shown below. 以下に示す2つの論文を読め。
    • Select two papers that are related to envorinmental conservation viewing from (somehow) ecology. The two papers should focus on the same or similar envorimental conservation issues but the conclusions are (somewhat) different. (多少とも)生態学的視点から見た環境保全に関する論文を2つ選べ。これらの2つの論文は、論点が同じかあるいは類似した環境保全に関するものであるが、結論が(幾分)異なるものであること。
All students (全学生)
  1. Summarize each of the papers within 400 Japanese letters or 1,000 English words. When you summarize the papers, focus on the differences and/or contradictions in results and discussion between the two papers. 各々の論文を、日本語なら400字以内、英語なら1000語以内でまとめなさい。まとめるに際しては、その2つの論文の結果や考察において相違点や矛盾点に着目してまとめること。
  2. Solve the differences and/or contradictions between them logically within 800 Japanese letters. To support your proposals, you should refer (a few) paper(s) written by the other authors. You should indicate the cited reference(s) based on the format of any scientific journal, because I may check the references if needed. これらの間の相違点あるいは矛盾点を、日本語なら800字以内で、論理的に解決しなさい。必要があれば引用文献をチェックするので、引用文献は科学雑誌の形式に従って引用文献を示しなさい。

Deadline: December 25 2016

締切: 2016年12月25日

⇒ See the outline (レポート要綱)