In Central Asia, large-scale expansion of agriculture in Aral Sea basin caused by heavy exploitation of irrigation water from international rivers in the early 1960's. This resulted in the rapid shrinking of the natural wetlands and significant change in the ecosystems. The decrease in river water and the resultant shrinking of the water area have led to destruction of the natural environment. To evaluate such landscape changes satellite remote sensing is most useful. Thus, we started monitoring the ecosystem through investigation and using satellite remote sensing. The study site is the lower Syr-Darya region where is considered as the most unstable in the catchment environment. Ground-truth data of land surface was collected through expeditions from 1999 to 2003. Based on floristic composition and soil investigation, vegetation was classified by using multivariate and cluster analyses. Based on the classification, spectral reflectance, biomass, LAI and plant coverage were measured on each type of vegetation in summer, 2002 and 2003. We found that LAI is a good estimate of biomass, and LAI can be estimated from either NDVI or TSAVI depending on vegetation type in this region. Using these data and methods, we analyzed succession of vegetation on the dried bottom of Aral Sea and relationship between wetland and river flow changes, relationships between the occurrence of Pelican's colony and environmental factors of each lake. From the results, we found that artificial water control of upper irrigational canal is most important to rehabilitate declined ecosystem in this region. It is concluded that maintenance of water consumption will affect wetlands maintenance and preservation of water fowl.
Species-area relationships and species occurrence patterns of woodland birds were reported by several studies, and revealed that species-area relationship is logarithmic or exponential. In this study, we also found logarithmic functional relationships between woodland bird species number of both breeding and wintering season and wood area in urban area of Kyoto City, Japan. In addition, we found that the coefficients and the constants of relative species-area relationship curves were almost same between those of breeding season and wintering season though those of species-area curve were differed between breeding season and wintering season. This phenomenon is very interesting from both ecological and conservational aspects if it is a common phenomenon. The woodland bird species occurrence pattern in woodland of Kyoto City was highly nested, thus large woodland has advantage for conservation of woodland birds though forest-edge species did not present nested occurrence pattern because some of them require bush vegetation that is few in urban woodlands. The combination of relative species-area relationship curve and nestedness pattern analysis may be a powerful tool for conservation of regional avifauna.
Suitability for cattle-grazing forestry system in Morotsuka Village, Miyazaki, southern Japan, was examined in terms of reducing the physical damages to young planted timber trees and conserving surface soil based on topographic analyses. For the first step of analyses, suitability for timber production were estimated for grids (28.5m × 28.5 m) by companng the site productivity and site stability (inversely, probability of natural disasters) calculated from topographic parameters using a digital elevation model As the results, 'Suitable site', 'Semi-suitable site' and 'Unsuitable site' occupied 36%, 49% and 15% of the whole village area, respectively. For the second step, suitability for cattle-grazing in young plantation forests was categorized by criteria of slope inclination and slope convexity into four categories : 'Suitable' (16%), 'Semi-suitable' (21%), 'Less-suitable' (21%), and 'Unsuitable' (48%). Among the sites which were suitable for timber production, 'Suitable' site for cattle-grazing occupied 30%, indicating a need of attention for concerning conservation of soil and planted trees even in the better plantations sites for timber production. 'Semi-suitable' sites for timber production were mostly designated as 'Less-suitable' or 'Unsuitable' for cattle-grazing. The sites selected as 'Suitable' or 'Semi-suitable' for cattle-grazing were located on slope crests in terms of micro-topographic classification, suggesting these sites likely to be correspond to those had formally been utilized meadows or agro-forestry in the past.