Genetic variation between endangered populations and neighboring populations in urban area of the Japanese clouded salamander Hynobius nebulosus was evaluated using an inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR)-PCR assay. An SSR primer gave rise to 24 amplification products all of which were polymorphic. Mean heterozygosity per locus within populations ranged from 0.28 to 0.30. An AMOVA test revealed that 85% of total genetic variation was attributable to the differences among individuals within populations, and 15% was attributable to the difference among populations (ΦST = 0.15). A random permutation test concluded that the genetic differentiation among populations is significant. Pairwise ΦST between populations ranged from 0.09 to 0.21, all statistically significant. The pairwise ΦST was correlated with the genetic distance between populations. A bootstrapped neighbor-joining tree based on Nei's distances between populations clustered two populations at minimum geographical interval into the same clade. The Nei's distances were also correlated significantly with the geographical distances.
Nishimeya village in Aomori Prefecture is famous as the main gateway to the Shirakami Mountains, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site (WHS), located in northernmost Honshu, Japan. The village has suffered from crop (mainly apple) damage caused by Japanese macaques Macaca fuscata since the 1980s. To protect crops, the Village Office implemented a monkey patrol project (Nishimeya-mura Animal Patrol or NAP) manned by urban volunteers to drive away monkeys during the growing and harvesting seasons of 2002 and 2003. A survey of 121 farmers and 82 urban volunteers and interviews with officials of the "Planning and Tourism" and "Agriculture, Forestry, and Construction" sections of the village, was used to evaluate the effects of NAP in protecting crop fields and orchards against monkeys and in satisfying volunteers wishing to enjoy rural tourism in the scenic mountains and forests of the Shirakami area. The results showed that the NAP was successful in realising its goals and was accepted by both farmers and volunteers. Unfortunately, there is no prospect of the NAP project lasting into the future, irrespective of its success, because of difficulties in the village, e.g. 1) few villagers have sufficient experience as leaders or in tourism to engage the NAP, 2) more than half of the farmers older than 63 years of age intend to retire from farm work within the next decade because they lack successors to take over the hard work, and 3) the village administration has lost the active volition to maintain and develop the agri-community and tourism in the village.
Marine algae from Sasunohama, on the southern coast of Oshika Peninsula (38°24′N, 140°22′E), northeast Honshu, were collected monthly from April 2002 to March 2003, and the floral characteristics were analyzed. The species identified were two sea grasses and 106 species of marine algae, 17 of which belonged to Chlorophyta, 24 to Phaeophyta and 65 to Rhodophyta. The I/H value, the ratio of the number of species with isomorphic alternation of generations to heteromorphic alternation of generations (Nakahara and Masuda 1971), in Sasunohama was 1.4, whereas that in Tomarihama, adjacent to the north, was 1.2 (Agatsuma et al. 2000), and that in Matsushima Bay, adjacent to the south, was 1.8 (Takamatsu 1936). Of the fucoid species principally distributed in the warm-current floral region, five were from Sasunohama, nine from Tomarihama and 13 from Matsushima Bay. The results suggest that the algal florae in Sasunohama belong to the subarctic region.
To determine the effects of physiographic environments on allometric relationships and causes of death, we surveyed the structure of Melaleuca cajuputi populations in three types of subcoastal habitat: beach ridge, peat swamp, and transitional zone. Height and diameter relationships of M. cajuputi were regressed by expanded allometric equations in each habitat, and maximum attainable height of M. cajuputi in the peat swamp was greater than on the beach ridge. Death through artificial means (mostly through selective logging) accounted for the greatest proportion of deaths among all habitat types, and was significantly greater in the peat swamp than on the beach ridge. The results of this study suggest that longer flooding period in the peat swamp increases height growth in M. cajuputi and subsequent timber use by neighboring human settlements.