Destruction and Recovery of Vegetation Caused by the 2000-Year Eruption on Miyake-Jima Island, Japan
Takashi Kamijo*, Minami Kawagoe*, Taku Kato*, Yutaka Kiyohara**,
Miyuki Matsuda***, Keiko Hashiba**, and Kazunori Shimada****
*Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tennodai, 1-1-1 Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan
**Master's Program in Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba
***College of Agrobiogical Resources, University of Tsukuba
****Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan
The active Mt. Oyama volcano on Miyake-jima Island in the Izu Islands, Japan, erupted in 2000 followed by large amounts of volcanic gas containing high concentrations of SO2 has been emitted. The island ecosystem has been heavily damaged by the volcanic ash and gas. We detail the destruction and recovery of vegetation found in a 7-year study of 11 permanent plots from 2001 to 2007. Damage to vegetation by ash was worst near the crater in 2001. Trees began dying in 2001, apparently due to direct and/or indirect effects of volcanic gas emission. In contrast to the tree decline, two grass species, Miscanthus condensatus and Carex oshimensis, increased notably following the eruption, suggesting their high SO2 and acidic soil tolerance. Miscanthus condensatus and C. oshimensis were not dominant species in early stage of primary succession before the 2000-year eruption. In the vegetation recovery after the eruption, the tolerances to SO2 and acidic soils are necessary for plant species to colonize on devastated sites.
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