Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Japan Hotspot Project - Week two: Chichibu Forest

This last week has been spent collecting and surveying in the University of Tokyo Chichibu Forest, Saitama Prefecture. This area falls within the Chichibu Geopark and comprises mixed deciduous and evergreen forests, mountains up to 2000m and some stunning scenery. During our stay the autumn colour was just developing, creating some magical hues.

Being further inland the forest is classified as temperate, containing a more familiar flora to that found in the warm-temperate coastal forests of the Boso Peninsular in Chiba Prefecture. A second typhoon prevented work on one day, but the remainder were jam packed; trekking through the forest collecting seed and conducting vegetation surveys.

Vegetation surveying

Collection highlights included Trochodendron aralioides, Tricyrtis hirta, Abies veitchii, Arisaema japonicum, Betula grossa and Hosta longipes. We also encountered Pteridophyllum racemosum, a monotypic endemic genus in the family Papaveraceace. Alas, we were 3-4 weeks too late for seed, so hopefully we will see it again on further trips. Fortunately the fauna was much tamer here, no sight of snakes, giant spiders or macaques.

Pteridophyllum racemosum

Our last day in the forest involved a one hour ascent aboard a (very small and precarious-looking) monorail. A great way to see the vegetation and a very unique experience indeed.

All aboard!
We are now in Tsukuba, north of Tokyo, for a few days working on the species rich Mt. Tsukuba. We head to Toyama for our final week of fieldwork on Thursday.

No comments:

Post a Comment