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Analysis of Revegetation Dynamics on the Volcano Usu, Northern Japan, Deforested by 1977-1978 Eruptions

Shiro Tsuyuzaki
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 76, No. 10 (Oct., 1989), pp. 1468-1477
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2444434
Page Count: 10
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Analysis of Revegetation Dynamics on the Volcano Usu, Northern Japan, Deforested by 1977-1978 Eruptions
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Abstract

Vegetation dynamics were monitored from 1983 to 1987 near the summit of the volcano Usu which had almost completely been deforested by 1-3 m thick volcanic deposits in 1977-1978. A permanent quadrat survey for five years confirmed the high mortality of seedlings. Since seedling mortality appeared mostly due to the frequent erosion of the volcanic deposits, ephemeral annuals and well-rooted perennials or woody plants were successful here. The high mortality of seedlings resulted in intensive fluctuation of plant density in all habitats. However, owing to the expansion of perennials, once they became established, the plant cover increased from year to year. In particular, Polygonum sachalinense and Petasites japonicus var. giganteus, seeds of which were frequently provided from their community vegetatively recovered on the wall of the caldera rim soon after the eruptions, were remarkably contributive to the revegetation. The excavation of those perennial plants demonstrated that they were derived not only from the seeds but also vegetatively from the old stumps buried in the former topsoil by extending their rhizomes up to the present ground surface.

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