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Vegetation and Socio-economic Structure in Kake-cho, Hiroshima Prefecture
This study analyzed the relationship between rural vegetation and the socioeconomic structure of six villages in Hiroshima Prefecture that consolidated in 1956 to form Kake-cho, a typical mountain town. We measured the area of vegetation in each of the original six villages with a vegetation map (Nakagoshi et al., 1992). A principal component analysis of agricultural and forestry census data from 1970 and 1990 revealed that conifer plantations and deciduous forests were the dominant types of vegetation. The amount of vegetation, 29.7 per square kilometer,[Chris1] was closely related to the agriculture of the region. In 1970, conifer plantations dominated the villages of Kake and Tsubono, but deciduous vegetation and pine forests were more common in the other four villages where farming was the main industry. By 1990, the human population of all six villages had decreased, but the amount of tall vegetation had increased throughout the area. The changes in the amount of vegetation resulted from natural succession, not human activity.