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Teshio Experimental Forest (approx. 22,500 ha) was established in 1912, and is located in the northernmost part of Japan. Sakhalin spruce (Picea glehnii) and rare plant species dominate on serpentine soils in the east part of experimental forest, and conifer-broadleaf mixed forest extends in the other parts. Fires damaged the many area in the experimental forest during the past 100 years, and secondary birch forests or, Sasa bamboo with no tall trees extends in the burned area. Research and education including following topics have being conducted.
Nakagawa Experimental Forest (approx. 20,000 ha) is located over Nakagawa Town and Otoineppu Village in Northern Hokkaido. Coldness and heavy snow are of winter climatic characteristics. While dominant vegetation is a conifer-broadleaf mixed forest, a pure forest of Sakhalin spruce (Picea glehnii) also stands on serpentine soil area. Nakagawa Experimental Forest contains various forest types such as a Japanese stone pine (Pinus pumila) area on the highland and a riparian forest on the lowland. There are over 46 long-term monitoring plots of tree census to understand forest community dynamics.
Uryu Experimental Forest since 1910 is the oldest Experimental Forest of Hokkaido University, located in Horokanai Town in northern Hokkaido. The area of the experimental forest is about 250 km2 surrounding Lake Shumarinai, the largest manmade lake in Japan. Climate is characterized by particularly low temperature and heavy snow in winter. It recorded -41.2 ˚C, the lowest temperature in Japan, in 1978 in our Moshiri Office; the record heavy snow is 2.75 m deep. Uryu Experimental Forest is located in a transitional area from cool-temperate to boreal zones. The main forest type is a cool-temperate mixed forest consisting of evergreen conifer and deciduous broadleaf. Natural oak (Quercus crispula) forests are common in the upper-stream of northern area with mildly sloped mountain terrain on Tertiary andesite, while pure forests of Sakhalin spruce (Picea glehnii) are largely distributed over the southern area on serpentine rock. As for research activities, long term monitoring has been carried out in various research topics and large-scale field experiments have been also conducted. We engage educational activities including field lectures for undergraduate and graduate students and various scientific events for public community.
Nayoro Research Office is a cross-sectional office for education and research activities in the three of Northern Hokkaido Experimental Forests (Teshio, Nakagawa and Uryu), a core site of Japan Long-Term Ecological Research Network (JaLTER). Professors, post-doctors, graduate students, technical and administrative staffs work in the office. There are various equipment for chemical analyses of plant, soil and water samples in laboratory as listed below. Nayoro office manages an integrated database of long-term and large-scale datasets including forest management data and various ecological research data obtained in the three Experimental Forests and Nayoro Forest Tree Breeding Nursery. (JaLTER database is here)
The Sapporo Experimental Forest manage the Sapporo cultivation field (approx. 3.4 ha) located in Sapporo campus of Hokkaido University and two research forests, Toyohira (incl. Ichino-sawa (62 ha), Misumai (32 ha)) and Oshoro (1.4 ha). In the Sapporo cultivation field, we produce seedlings of various trees for researches, educations and campus greening project. We also conduct long-term monitoring for tree phenology and experimental researches relating to global environmental changes. Attempts are being made to preserve species and genes through establishment of the Eurasian Model Forest and a rock garden. The Ichino-sawa and Misumai forests consists primarily of a natural regenerated, secondary, broad-leaved forest. Researches on growth of ash (Fraxinus mandshurica var. japonica) and Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi) are conducted. Oshoro forest was established in 1945 and consists of maritime forests.
Sapporo Research Office located in Sapporo campus of Hokkaido University is a central office for coordinating researches and educational activities in Forest research station. The institutional coordinating for research and education with Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, and various faculties in Hokkaido University are central functions in this office. The office is also in charge of the contact node for various researchers both inside and outside of Hokkaido University. In the office, many researchers (professors, post-doctors, graduate students) engage their research projects. Technical staffs work to organize and manage research and education projects conducted in the experimental forests and the Forest Research Station.
The Tomakomai Experimental Forest (established in 1904) covers 2,715 ha of low elevation terrain, near the Tomakomai city. This forest is in the cool-temperate zone. The maximum and minimum temperature are around 28 °C and -22 °C, respectively. The forest is characterized as a flat, low elevation land scape (elevation range: 20 - 90 m). Soil contains volcanic ash deposited at volcanic eruptions of Mt. Tarumae in 1667 and 1739, and partly freezes during winter due to cold temperature and less snowpack.
The Tomakomai Experimental Forest consist of old-growth forests and secondary forests mainly occupied by deciduous broad-leaves trees such as oak (Quercus crispula), Ash (Fraxinus lanuginose), maple (Acer pictum) and elm (Ulmus davidiana) etc., and artificial plantation forest of conifers (e.g., Larix kaempferi and Picea glehnii). Old growth forest has not been cut since disturbance of the last volcanic eruption of Mt. Tarumae (i.e., age 300 years). Secondary forest was established mostly after the large typhoon in 1954 as well as logging of plantation forest. Many projects in ecology and environmental science has been carried out in this forest, because the forest has various research facilities such as the forest canopy crane, flux tower, jungle gyms, fish rearing systems, and fence-enclosing system for large mammal study, etc.. We perform long-term monitoring census for trees, ground beetles and birds as one of the core sites of nation-wide monitoring project run by the Ministry of Environment. This forest is also popular with Tomakomai citizens as a place for natural observation and recreation.
Global warming experiment to investigate responses of natural forest canopies to global climate change
Long-term monitoring on CO2 flux in the secondary forest (since 1999)
Large-scale nitrogen-fertilization experiment to examine effects of increasing nitrogen deposition on forest ecosystems
Deer-fencing enclosure and exclosure experiment to examine ecological functions of deer population
Monitoring of fish migration using pit-tag antenna system
Studies on linkage between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
Experimental study on predator-prey interactions between larval amphibians
The Hiyama Experimental Forest (approx. 102 ha) was established in 1956. The forest is located at Kaminokuni-cho, in southern Hokkaido, and at the northern limit of the cool temperate zone. The experimental forest is on the steep landscape (i.e., average slope 23°) and mainly consists of artificial forests of Japanese cedar trees and secondary mixed forests of beech (Fagus crenata) and oak (Quercus crisupla). The beech-dominated secondary forest ( 21ha) is the unique characteristic of this forest so that we have monitored succession process of beech community. Since 1967, we measured density and individual size of the beech in a monitoring plot (21 ha) every 5 years. We also have a monitoring plot in the artificial forest of Japanese cedar tree. In addition, to assess mammal fauna, we started a monitoring research on mammals by setting trap cameras in the forest since 2016.
Long-term monitoring of beech-dominated broad-leaved forest
Long-term monitoring of Japanese cedar forest
Long-term monitoring of mammal fauna using trap cameras
Researches on sustainable forestry of artificial forest of Japanese cedar system
The Wakayama Experimental Forest (approx. 450 ha) was established in 1925 for educational programs and field researches in warm temperate forests. The mean annual temperature is 15.2℃ (max. 37.8℃, min. -9.5℃), and annual precipitation often exceeds 4,000mm. The elevation ranges from 260 to 840 m. The mountainous areas are pretty steep with mainly slopes above 30°. More than 70% of the forest area is covered with plantations of Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) and Japanese cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa). The remaining area supports natural forests composed of evergreen broad-leaved trees (mainly evergreen Fagaceae and Lauraceae) and deciduous broad-leaved trees (Zelkova serrata, Aesculus turbinate and Mallotus japonicas). In the vicinity of the mountain summit, there is mixed forest of broad-leaved trees and conifers (Abies firma and Tsuga sieboldii), and native forests of Japanese cedar, Japanese cypress and Japanese umbrella-pine (Sciadopitys verticillata). In these forests, more than 23 species of mammals inhabit. Long-term monitoring of forest vegetation and wildlife populations, and researches on the impact of forestry (plantation, thinning, etc.) on natural regeneration and ecological services have been conducted. The Wakayama Experimental Forest provides various field educational activities for undergraduate students, elementary school children as well as general public.
Population dynamics of voles and deer in warm temperate forest
System development of wireless local area net work under forest environment