Although the matsutake mushroom is highly valued as a seasonal ingredient, its production has decreased markedly owing to the deterioration and dwindling of its habitat in Japanese red pine forests. We determined when matsutake mushrooms came to be regarded as a luxury food ingredient. From the second half of the 1950s through the 1960s, matsutake were in a sense seen as mushrooms for ordinary cooking by consumers. Cookbooks treated them as substitutes for other mushrooms or as an ingredient for thrifty cooking. They were also used in Western and Chinese cooking, and cookbooks showed many ways of cooking, slicing, and heating them. We investigated substitutes for matsutake in home cooking through recipes on the internet. Although documentation was limited, we found recipes with matsutake substitutes featuring cultivated king oyster mushrooms alone, or combined with matsutake-flavor soup (on the market from 1964). Further, using a mountainous village in Iwate Prefecture as a case study, we conducted interviews on the enjoyment and techniques of gathering matsutake mushrooms and improving their habitats, as well as finding subsequent opportunities for selling, cooking, gifting, and preserving the harvested mushrooms. Even elderly gatherers enthusiastically picked matsutake, and one of them worked on improving their habitat in red pine forests for gifting and eating matsutake with friends and family. At home, they enjoyed cooking matsutake in Japanese dishes, and they preserved matsutake by freezing and vacuum packing.
This study revealed the impact by the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident on production of non-timber forest products by using various government statistics and public documents, and considered further study. As a result, in post-accident policy, the number of food safety inspections as measures have still remained high, so that the measures for production have focused on how to resume and maintain production. Many commodities in Fukushima and surrounding four surrounding prefectures showed a sharp drop in production right after the earthquake, and any recovery has yet to be confirmed. A severe depression of mushroom and charcoal production depending on logs produced in Fukushima occurred. The impact of this has extended to some parts of western Japan, and as the background of this, there were restriction of forestry management and decline in the supply of logs in accordance with the index value setting. The number of producers has declined sharply in Fukushima and four surrounding prefectures, and this has caused the decline in sales prices of products and sudden rise of log prices, and moreover, producers' business deterioration has been of concern. As such, the effects of the nuclear accident are long-term and widespread. Further investigation is required to understand the actual status of material logs distribution and root cause of sluggish sales prices, and for in-depth analysis of the situation on a regional scale.
In this study, we conducted a questionnaire survey that targeted all forest owners' cooperatives nationwide and clarified the actual situation and problems of the district committee members (DCMs) and regional organizations (ROs). DCMs and ROs are expected to function as boundary spanners that connect forest owners and forest owners' cooperatives. As a result, the rate at which forest cooperatives reach out to members has increased, with the recent increase in logging business. In spite of a decrease in the number of cooperatives, DCMs/ROs, and the number of activity days, about 40％ of the respondent cooperatives had DCMs/ROs with diverse activities ranging from distribution of public relations magazines to arrangement of explanatory meetings. Cooperatives where the DCMs/ROs coordinated village and district projects communicated actively and the logging business volume was high. In contrast, many cooperatives had non-functioning coordinator and had a tendency to become polarized. Thus, to improve the functions of DCMs/ROs and to secure new leadership, it is vital that cooperatives improve communication frequency, share goals and information, and return benefits. Improving the environment that DCMs/ROs playing a more active boundary spanning role is important for promoting the forest management's business and local autonomous forest management.
Implementing the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires meeting 169 targets at the municipality level. Meanwhile, municipalities also have issues that they should address for residents. Small municipalities may lack access to the necessary human resources and funds to treat new issues regarding SDGs. In this study, new ideas for localizing the goals and targets for connecting municipalities' policies were proposed. First, the relationships among forest management policies and the national SDGs were investigated in Kobe, Japan as a case study. Using expert judgement, 11 goals and 20 targets regarding forest management policies were extracted. Next, as the extracted goals and targets include many foci, selected goals and targets were translated into descriptive sentences that the municipalities could easily apply to their forest management policies. The relationship among Kobe's forest management policies and national SDGs was visualized through these processes. In addition, the relative importance of each goal was weighted using a questionnaire and thinking of a pairwise comparison to clarify the priorities of goals based on the summed consciousness of Kobe residents. The result revealed that water resources and biodiversity were significant goals for the residents.
Melia azedarach (Sendan) has been recently regarded as a promising silvicultural tree in Japan, since it produces straight trunk by bud pruning practices. The objective of this study is to clarify the effect of site quality, canopy openness (light environment) and mother tree on seed germination and seedling growth of Melia azedarach, which will provide important information on establishing its seeding silviculture. A sowing experiment from the same mother tree was conducted in fourteen forest sites from Nagano to Okayama Prefecture in springs of 2015 and 2016. Germination rates varied from 0 to 81％ and seedling height from 5 to 84 cm, depending on places. In April and May of 2016, fruits of Melia azedarach were sown in places with two levels of canopy openness. Germination rates, number of buds per fruit, and seedling height were all positively correlated with canopy openness. Another sowing experiment of three mother trees at a place showed that different provenances exhibited different seedling growth after a growing season. Therefore, it became clear that selection of site quality, light environment and mother tree are important in seeding silviculture of Melia azedarach.
This study examined the effects of weeding schedules on shrub quantity and operation time for improvement cutting in 13 year old sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) stands. We also assessed the total operation time, which included both weeding and improvement cutting, with different weeding schedules. Then, we confirmed the state of competition between planted sugi trees and shrubs. As a result, shrub density was affected by weeding frequency, and shrub basal area and mean height were affected a year after the previous weeding. The shortest operation time was annual weeding, which was implemented annually from the 1st to 6th year after planting (11.9-12.6 h/ha). Three-time weeding was implemented in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd years after planting and required about twice as much time as annual weeding (24.5-32.3 h/ha). The total operation time was longest with annual weeding (155.1-181.3 h/ha). Most of the sugi trees in this study site were not in competition with shrubs. We concluded that the operation time of improvement cutting increased with decreasing weeding frequency. However, the total operation time decreased with reducing weeding frequency. Additionally, improvement cutting may be omitted because of competition, and it is more effective for reducing initial silviculture costs.
Respiration of woody organs, such as stem, branch and coarse root (woody respiration), is an important component in the carbon cycle of forest ecosystems due to their huge biomass. CO2 efflux on the surface of a woody organ (EA) has historically been used as a direct measure of woody respiration. However, there are large environmental variations within woody organs different from other organs, such as leaves and fine roots. Not only the respiration of living tissues but also a series of physical processes, such as CO2 diffusion and CO2 dissolution into xylem sap, are included under EA. Recent studies have shown that there is a substantial portion of CO2 dissolved in xylem sap and transported away from the site of origin. Consequently, it is of necessity to clarify the internal processes of the organs, such as tissue respiration, anatomical and biochemical characteristics, and CO2 dynamics, for evaluating woody respiration, besides the traditional approaches focusing on the relationship between EA and external factors, e.g., temperature and organ size. In this review, I compile the previous knowledge for stem and branch respiration to understand the importance of the internal process, and to organize future issues.