Sustainable Management of Satoyama Bamboo Landscapes in Japan

  • Shigeo Suzuki
  • Nobukazu Nakagoshi
Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


Many changes have occurred throughout agricultural areas in Japan over recent decades resulting from the reduced use of woodlands and grasslands. Traditionally, bamboo was planted near residences for economic and cultural reasons. However, an expansion of abandoned bamboo groves has recently occurred throughout the Japanese agricultural landscape. In this chapter, we consider the importance of bamboo landscapes in Japan from cultural and ecological viewpoints, and propose a method of bamboo landscape management based on the plant’s expansion characteristics. Our results show that bamboo is a significant plant in Japanese culture through the production of cultural items and foods. Our examination of bamboo-grove expansion using a geographic information system (GIS) indicates that expansion is facilitated by both natural and anthropogenic conditions. We confirmed that unmanaged bamboo groves expand more quickly than those that are managed. Second, our survey of the age structure of bamboo culms in vegetation adjacent to bamboo groves revealed that bamboo culms invade shorter vegetation more readily than taller vegetation. Finally, the results of our vegetation survey indicate that forests in the late stages of succession are more resistant to decreases in plant species diversity caused by bamboo invasion. Given these findings, we propose a management plan for Japanese bamboo groves, in which groves situated in unmanageable places or adjacent to low or transitional vegetation are targeted for more immediate management, given their potential for rapid expansion and the resulting risk to local plant biodiversity. Our findings also demonstrate that completely removing bamboo culms (clear-cutting) results in the continuous growth of new shoots for several years. To eradicate undesired groves, culm removal over several years and reforestation with target tree species are required.


Slope Aspect Plant Species Diversity Bamboo Species Bamboo Shoot Japanese Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We extend our thanks to a number of people for their help in preparing this Ph.D. thesis. We are particularly indebted to Dr. Sun-Kee Hong, of Mokpo National University, who provided the opportunity to conduct this study.


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© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Geo-Environmental ScienceRissho UniversityKumagayaJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School for International Development and CooperationHiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan

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