TITLE

Analysis of topography and vegetation distribution using a digital elevation model: case study of a snowy mountain basin in northeastern Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Matsuura, Toshiya; Suzuki, Wajiro
PUB. DATE
January 2013
SOURCE
Landscape & Ecological Engineering;Jan2013, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p143
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This study examines the relations between the local variations in vegetation and topography using logistic regression (LR) and GIS in a snowy basin in the Ohu Mountains of northeastern Japan. The spatial distribution of seven vegetation classes interpreted from aerial photographs-(a) large-sparse crown beech forest, (b) middle-dense crown beech forest, (c) dwarf beech scrub, (d) dwarf bamboo thicket, (e) Japanese white pine forest, (f) snow-avalanche scrub or meadow, and (g) riparian forest-was analyzed with terrain parameters derived from a 10 m digital elevation model (10 m DEM) and parameters of landslide distribution and surface geology. While large-sparse crown beech forests dominate the slopes, smaller crown beech forests or scrubs are often found on the west-facing (i.e., windward side) upper parts of slopes and crests. On the contrary, snow-avalanche scrubs or meadows are found on the leeward side of steep slopes and concave plan curvatures. Dwarf bamboo thickets are often found on east-facing (i.e., leeward side) gently sloping crests, where the snow remains until summer. Japanese white pine forests respond positively to sharp ridges, whereas riparian forests show a positive response to the gently sloping lower parts of slopes and bottomlands at low elevation. The heterogeneous vegetation distribution in the basin indicates differences in site conditions (e.g., soil-water conditions), and the existence of various disturbance regimes induced by the strong winter monsoon with heavy snowfall, snow movements (e.g., avalanches), and temporal differences in snowmelt on different topographies. The estimated vegetation maps could be used for forest management and restoration.
ACCESSION #
85012021

 

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