Huge earthquake/tsunami disturbance, autonomous ecosystem recovery and the human impact of reconstruction in the Sendai Bay sand-dune coastal ecotone

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1 15 November 2013, Sendai International Center, Sendai, Japan The First Asia Parks Congress WG1: Natural disaster and protected areas Huge earthquake/tsunami disturbance, autonomous ecosystem recovery and the human impact of reconstruction in the Sendai Bay sand-dune coastal ecotone Yoshihiko HIRABUKI 1) and Minami-Gamou Ecotone Monitoring Network 2) 1) Dept. of Regional Design, Tohoku Gakuin University 2)

2 On 11 March 2011, huge tsunamis afflicted the Sendai Bay fringe Crustal disturbances caused by the earthquake registering a Mw 9.0 ( 2011) Sendai Airport area

3 A natural disturbance of unheard-of proportions 500m (Google earth, 2012) The drastic landscape change of Ido area, a typical nature conservation site of the Sendai Bay sand-dune coast (left: 2009, right: 2011)

4 The heartwarming nature, people and culture of the Tohoku region

5 Three Topics 1) Coastal ecotone: the case of the Sendai Bay sand-dune fringe A transitional zone connecting the sea, land and river A shifting formation of unstable, diversified and unique ecosystems 2) Surveys in the Minami-Gamou Monitoring Site Monitoring design of the sand-dune coastal ecotone Heterogeneity of earthquake/tsunami disturbance Rapid autonomous recovery of unique wildlife and catenate-coastal ecosystems 3) How do we contribute to the sustainable community development through our research? Importance of ecosystem service/resilience-based restoration Nurse hot-spots of biodiversity for our future

6 1) Coastal ecotone: the case of the Sendai Bay sand-dune fringe Two types of coasts A transitional zone connecting the sea, land and river A shifting formation of unstable, diversified and unique ecosystems ( 12/ /) Sendai Sendai Bay 20 km (Sendai Administrative Office, 1994) Abukuma Mountain Range CTRIC

7 The ecotone-scale distribution of habitats, human impacts and vegetation in Ido area Vertical view Relative height (m) Sand-dune herbaceous communities Shrubby Pinus thunbergii plantation Pinus/broadleaved treesmixed forest Open forests/ swamps-complex Distance (m) Pinus/broadleaved treesmixed forest Inshore/ Shoreline Sand-dune Shrubby plantation Canal Open forest/ swamp Residence Paddies 200m (Google earth, 2011)

8 Vertical view Natural and semi-natural vegetation Vegetation and infrastructures under the severe human impacts Shoreline Alluvial plain Catenate-landscape along the environmental gradient between the foreshore and the alluvial plain Mosaic of vegetation assemblages in each catena-unit, owing to natural and man-made disturbance regimes

9 2) Surveys in the Minami-Gamou Monitoring Site Monitoring design of the sand-dune coastal ecotone Core area=700m 240m Monitoring area= 700m 550m Core intersection=700m 40m N , E (Google earth, 2011)

10 Post-huge tsunami formation of micro-scale vegetation along the foreshore-alluvial plain gradient An outline along the Base-line A Relative height (m) Distance (m) Alluvial plain Back swamp Canal Sand-dune Bank Fore/Back shore Inshore Base-line A 200m Paddies Residence Cultivated fields Pinus/broad-leaved trees-mixed open forest + Swamps Shrubby Pinus thunbergii plantation Sand-dune herbaceous communities (Google earth, 2011)

11 Vigorous recovery of vegetation in the third growing season, 2013 (a) Sand-dune herbaceous communities on the flattened sand-dune

12 (b) Shrubby Pinus thunbergii plantation on the flattened sand-dune

13 (c) Swamp communities on the patchy-disturbed back swamp (lower ground-level micro-site)

14 (d) Pinus/broad-leaved trees-mixed open forest on the stripy/patchydisturbed back swamp (higher ground-level micro-site)

15 3) How do we contribute to the sustainable community development through our research? Species and habitats of the coastal vegetation, namely companions and the foundation of the local ecosystems, suffered severe damage 500m (Google earth, 2011)

16 Catastrophic event!?.. Even so, many companions of the coastal ecosystems survived and began to recover rapidly beach forest (by Goukon) (by Hiraizumi) marsh (by Suginome) dune grassland (by Goukon)

17 Extensive denudation and land reclamation has occurred along the Sendai Bay sand-dune fringe

18 Huge loss of native species, habitats, landscapes and ecosystem services caused by the coastal forest reconstruction project

19

20 Powerful, rapid and poorly coordinated restoration projects covering over the coastal ecotone Integrated coastal management An urgent issue is to build up the strategic grounddesign for preserving and connecting typical ecotone sites along the Sendai Bay coast Nurse hot-spots of biodiversity Protect the mechanism of autonomous recovery and bio-shield against disasters

21 Ecosystem service/resilience-based restoration From Tohoku, thank you very much!

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