The change of a satoyama landscape and its causality in Kamiseya, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan between 1970 and 1995

Katsue Fukamachi, Hirokazu Oku, Tohru Nakashizuka

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    98 Citations (Scopus)


    We focused on patterns of land use in a particular satoyama landscape (Japanese traditional rural landscape, comprised of an integral social and ecological network of a village and its surroundings, such as agricultural lands, open forestlands and forests), and the effects of human activities upon them during Japan's economic growth of the last few decades. Changes of landscape patterns and their probable causes were traced since the beginning of the 1900s to the present, and clarified. Societal, economic and technological changes, especially those that occurred after 1970, were considered the focal points from which major landscape changes developed. We compared the spatial features, patterns of land use and landscape diversities of each land unit, defined in terms of both their natural and man-made conditions for the year 1970, to those of 1995. We found land-use diversity to be strongly related to changes in the patterns of land use, with a decrease in diversity for all land units after 1970. Diversity of forest-age distribution on the other hand, increased. These changes, with the complex, changing patterns of each land unit, could be explained by differences in accessibility from the village and variations in the topography, as well as land ownership of the land units. We selected those land units found to have responded to these factors between 1970 and 1995, and classified them into four types of pattern changes, determined mainly by accessibility and topography.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)703-717
    Number of pages15
    JournalLandscape Ecology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2001 Dec 1


    • economic growth
    • fragmentation
    • land abandonment
    • land use
    • landscape change
    • landscape diversity
    • satoyama landscape (Japanese traditional rural landscape)

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Ecology
    • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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