Variations in species composition of moorland plant communities along environmental gradients within a subalpine zone in northern japan

Takehiro Sasaki, Masatoshi Katabuchi, Chiho Kamiyama, Masaya Shimazaki, Tohru Nakashizuka, Kouki Hikosaka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Despite the ecological, conservation, and cultural significance of Japan's alpine and subalpine moorland ecosystems, the patterns of species composition in plant communities in these ecosystems have not been fully described. The objectives of this study were to classify and describe the species composition of moorland plant communities and to examine the relationships between the classified community types and measured environmental variables within the subalpine zone of northern Japan. Plant communities were sorted into six types, whose strongest indicator species were Sieversia pentapetala, Schizocodon soldanelloides, Moliniopsis japonica, Vaccinium oxycoccos, Carex thunbergii, and Hosta sieboldii, respectively. The differences in species composition among these types were mainly related to the variations in soil solution pH and electric conductivity and in elevation and temperature. Each community type represented a unique combination of plant species, with some rare and endangered species. Describing and classifying the vegetation by providing indicators for a representative range of moorland community types should facilitate the identification and conservation of these valuable communities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)269-277
    Number of pages9
    JournalWetlands
    Volume33
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr

    Keywords

    • Alpine plants
    • Biodiversity conservation
    • Classification
    • Indicator species

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Chemistry
    • Ecology
    • Environmental Science(all)

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