(Upload on November 19 2021) [ 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

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

Introduction (Guidance)

October 8 2021
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 12 2021

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
Permanent plots: Case Mount Usu

Scaling from large to small

Scale-dependent factor

October 15 2021
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)
October 19 2021

Distribution of ferns in Japan
Warmth index
Snow (dorso-ventral sturcture)
Dwarf-shaped plants: adaptation to snow


Distribution of Sasa (dwarf bamboo) in Hokkaido


Case 1.: Pumice Plains on MSH: rill, near-rock
Case 2.: Tussock
Case 3. Flooding
Case 4. 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

October 22 2021
Fallen-log regeneration
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 26 2021
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

October 29 2021

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

Competition: intera-specific and inter-specific competition

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

November 2 2021 (***)
November 5 2021
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
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)

Community diversity

November 9 2021
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

Species richness
Fischer's α-diversity index - Representative T1

How to measure α-diversity

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

Diversity and evenness

True diversity
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

Main purposes of multivariate analysis

Classification and ordination

November 12 2021
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
November 16 2021

Polar ordination (PO)
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
November 19 2021

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

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

Mesic succession
Xeric succession: Chronosequence approach

Characteristics of vegetation recovery on Mount Usu

Equilibrium theory vs non-equilibrium theory Mycorrhizal types: ectomycorrhziae and endomycorrhizae

Interactions between seed plants and AM fungi


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 (2021)

In this term (anterior half in second term 2021), your scores are graded based on the reports. The reporting assignment is described below. 今期(2021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、以下の通り。
  1. Select one topic introduced in this lecture (see above). 講義中に紹介したトピックを一つ選べ。
  2. Select the paper, published as new as possible, that is related to the topic. Do not select any papers publised on predatory journals, represented by MDPI journals. そのトピックに関連するできるだけ新しく刊行された論文を選べ。なお、いわゆる「ハゲタカ雑誌」、例えば、MDPIが発行する全ての雑誌、の論文を選んではならない。
  1. Summarize the paper within 200 words in English or 400 letters in Japanese. その論文を英語なら200単語、日本語なら400文字以内でまとめよ。
  2. Show logically why you consider the paper brings innovation to the topic. 自分は、なぜ、その論文がそのトピックについて革新をもたらすと思うのかを、論理的に示せ。
  3. Submit the report, following "How to write reports". レポートの書き方に従ってレポートを提出せよ。
The deadline is December 27 2022. 締切は2022年12月27日