Analysis of Factors Affecting the Landscape Dynamics of Islands in Western Japan

Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


We examined the relationships among landscape processes at three different scales in the Seto Inland Sea region. Increasing tourism has altered the way people regard this region. At the regional scale, primary industry, especially agriculture and fisheries, and population structure exert a great influence on vegetation structure. The distribution of vegetation depends on natural site conditions such as bedrock, elevation, and slope direction. At the municipal scale, human activity exerts the greatest effect on landscape change. Once the human influence is removed, the vegetation changes by natural succession. Natural site conditions play important roles in this change. At the district scale, vegetation structure and social characteristics differ greatly between districts, even in the same municipality. The main factor in the abandonment of orchards was difficulty of access. The municipal scale offered the best scale for an analysis of regional landscape planning. Records indicated a decline in traditional landscapes with terraced orchards and pine forests. Vegetation change will lead to damage caused by pests and to social change. The process of landscape change was strongly associated with human activities. Factors in landscape change played a background role at the smaller scale, and was most evident in social conditions. Natural site conditions also influenced how landscapes changed. Conditions which are important at one scale were not necessarily important at another scale. This poses a problem for the study of landscape ecology, and may pose problems for regional planning.


Vegetation Type Landscape Change Conjoint Analysis Markov Chain Model Landscape Element 


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© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Open Network for Nature ConservationShimaneJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School for International Development and CooperationHiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan

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