Japanese Journal of Forest Environment
Online ISSN : 2189-6275
Print ISSN : 0388-8673
ISSN-L : 0388-8673
Patch mosaic distribution of overstory vegetation in a riparian buffer strip along a meandering V-shaped valley of Oyabu creek, central Kyushu, southwestern Japan
Satoshi ItoTomomi MarutaniOsamu Shimizu
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2012 Volume 54 Issue 1 Pages 7-17

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Abstract

We investigated the relationship of vegetation to geomorphology in a V-shaped valley bottom of an incised meandering mountainous stream in a transition zone from fir-hemlock forests to cool-temperate deciduous broad-leaved forests in Kyushu, southwestern Japan. The bank of a channel reach (410 m in length) of a forth-order valley of Oyabu creek was divided into 32 units, and overstory vegetation, slope characteristics, flood frequency and other geomorphic features for 15 m width from the vegetation edge were surveyed. The bank vegetations of 32 units were classified into three types: Tsuga sieboldii forests (ridge type), Quercus crispula forests (secondary broad-leaved type) and Betula grossa forests (valley-bottom type). These types were related to slope forms, soil depth and slope inclination, but not to flooding frequency. These results suggested that the bank vegetation type classified by the overstory species composition in the V-shaped valley was influenced by hillslope processes rather than by the fluvial process of the main creek. The slope forms were related to the incised meander and geomorphic features such as the back slopes and the escarpments. These results suggested that river meander and geomorphic features may also have significant impacts on patch mosaic formation in a riparian strip in a V-shaped valley through the promotion of different bank slope characteristics through long-term lateral erosion processes.

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© 2012 The Japanese Society of Forest Environment
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