Multidisciplinary Approaches to Exploring Anthropogenic Influences on the Distribution of <i>Firmiana simplex</i> in Coastal Areas of the Bungo Channel

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  • 学際的手法で探る豊後水道沿岸域のアオギリの分布に対する人為的影響
  • ガクサイテキ シュホウ デ サグル ブンゴ スイドウ エンガンイキ ノ アオギリ ノ ブンプ ニ タイスル ジンイテキ エイキョウ

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<p>Many plants carried by human migration and trade have become naturalized and significantly affected local ecosystems. A deciduous tree, Firmiana simplex (Malvaceae), of uncertain origin, grows in warm temperate regions in Japan. We explored anthropogenic influences on the distribution of F. simplex along the coast of the Bungo Channel, eastern Japan, by evaluating the successional sere that the species occupies, historical usage, and local plant names. An old land use map, historical records, local knowledge, and field observations of forest stands indicated that the F. simplex-dominated forest on Kashima, Ainan town, Ehime Prefecture, which was generally perceived as primary forest, was most likely anthropogenically disturbed. The F. simplex in several other localities had an aggregated distribution and grew at disturbed sites. These results imply that the species favors mid-successional forest stands. Trunk fiber had various uses around the mid-20th century in the study region. Interviewees told of planting this species on backyard slopes in Kochi Prefecture, and on mountain slopes in Miyazaki Prefecture. Common local names hera and isaki were recorded in both Kyushu and Shikoku. According to a historical record, Tilia species (Malvaceae), which are also called hera, were brought to the Chugoku region for trunk fiber usage in the early 19th century. This fact and our results suggest that F. simplex was introduced along the coast through the cultural diffusion of fiber usage and is now concentrated around specific villages.</p>



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