Sunasaka coastal forest was established at the place where once Yanagisaki Village had existed. People in Yanagisaki had been forced to move to the opposite side of Assabu River because of a sand drift disaster. The disaster was considered to be caused by overcutting of the natural coastal forest early in the Meiji period. But Takeshiro Matsuura, the explorer in the late Edo period, recorded that the coast was mainly covered by herbaceous plants with no trees. Hamanaka, the foreshore of Yanagisaki, had long been used as pasture and many horses had been kept there. There were some cases of denudation caused by overgrazing around Hamanaka. These facts imply that the occurrence of the sand move was caused by overgrazing rather than overcutting. Blown sand during winter had threatened the students on the way to school, and many children had had to attend the work in spring to remove the accumulated sand from the paddy fields. Because the mouth of Assabu River tends to close during winter, a bypass channel has had to be excavated annually since the Edo period to prevent overflow. But the frequency decreased with the calming down of the sand move, presumably because of the establishment of the costal forest. We could not find information about the excavation in any historical records, but it become clear by conducting interviews with elderly.
In 2014 and 2015, canopy interception ratios (the ratio of rainfall interception to gross rainfall) were observed in two plots established in old-aged Japanese cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa Endl.) plantations (plot A, 89-years-old; plot B, 92-years-old; as of 2013) in the Aso district, Kumamoto Prefecture, southern Japan. These stands have been managed by regular thinning regimes. The stand densities were 522 trees ha-1 in plot A and 356 trees ha-1 in plot B, which was the lowest density among the previous studies on interception ratio of coniferous plantations in Japan. The interception ratios in 2014 and 2015 were 8.0 and 12.1％ in plot A and 11.2 and 13.9％ in plot B, respectively. The relationship between the stand density and the interception ratio of coniferous plantations in Japan was analyzed using the 49 data from previous studies and this study. The result demonstrated that the relationship was well expressed by an exponential function rather than a linear function. Our results will be effective when evaluating the effect of forest management on the water yield.
Water transport in tall trees occurs over long-distances from roots to leaves, as well as against the gravitational hydrostatic gradient. The resulting water stress and physiological/morphological constraints of treetop leaves was considered the main cause of height-growth limitation. In tall trees, there is functional trade-off of xylem hydraulic efficiency relative to hydraulic safety and water-stress adaptation. In addition, xylem hydraulic properties affect photosynthetic production by regulating CO2 uptake through stomata and resource allocation. Because the well-illuminated treetop environment can yield potentially high photosynthetic production, researchers have suggested mechanisms that allow tall trees to adapt/acclimate to, or compensate for, hydraulic limitation. Recent research has revealed new insights, such as structural characteristics of xylem cells for hydraulic efficiency and safety, adaptation/acclimation of xylem structure and function to increasing height, and hydraulic capacitance of leaf and sapwood that compensates for hydraulic limitation. New findings have revealed variability of hydraulic architecture due to high phenotypic plasticity and short-term changes in hydraulic conductivity within tall trees. In tall trees, the water transport pathway connecting soil-plant-atmosphere is not a simple circuit consisting only of resistances, but includes circuit-breaker-like safety buffers and capacitor-like storage mechanisms. Further research should elucidate, in its entirety, the hydraulic architecture of tall trees, and lead to integrated understanding tall-tree ecophysiology.
Although a municipal governments started to have a greater role in local forest management, most municipalities are not equipped to serve in this function because of a shortage of manpower, diffculties in consensus building, and a lacks of evaluation systems. There is an the urgent need to develop processes for establishing a municipal forest plan as a master plan of local forest management. The adaptive management (AM) method can be considered as an effective solution. AM helps forest managers to improve sustainability by comprehensive natural resource management methods including planning, doing, checking, and acting. Some cases reported that applying AM is a possible and effective approach towards natural resource management with complexity and uncertainty. Applying AM process to municipal forest planning is supposed to be exceedingly practical for local forest management. It is expected to enhance the effectiveness of the because of its suitability to municipal forest plans and universal evaluation criteria and methods.
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