Ashiu Forest Research Station - Japan
Ashiu Forest Research Station
Ashiu Forest Research Station is located in the northeastern border part of Kyoto Prefecture in main island Honshu and stretches 6km east to west and 7km north to south in a rectangular shape. The area is characterized by high relief with altitudes ranging from 355 to 959 m above the sea level and encompasses the headwater zones of Yura River flowing into Wakasa bay, the Sea of Japan. This region is situated in the transition part between cool temperate forests and warm temperate forests. There is a heavy snowfall ranging from 1 to 3m in winter seasons. More than half of Ashiu Forest Research Station is covered with old-growth forests. In cool temperate forests above 600m altitude, the main species are beech (Fagus crenata), Japanese ceder (Cryptomeria japonica), deciduous oak (Quercus crispula). In warm temperate forests under 600m altitude, evergreen and deciduous oaks (Quercus salicina and Quercus sessilifolia) can be seen. There are two noteworthy characteristics in Ashiu Forest Research Station. Firstly, its high biodiversity. Since the establishment of the Research Station in 1921, new plant or vertebrate species/ varieties have been found. 801 woody, herbaceous and fern species have been recorded (Yasuda and Nagamasu 1995). Nationally protected species such as Japanese serow (Capricornis crispus) and Giant Saramander (Andrias japonicas) can be seen. Secondly, Ashiu Forest Research Station has been used not only for research and education but also for ecotourism by local stakeholders for more than 20 years, which has great opportunities for inter- and transdisciplinary studies.
General Characteristics and Status