Citizen Participation in Conservation Activities Enhances Plant Biodiversity in Rice Terraces in Sengamachi-no-Tanada, Kikugawa, Japan

The ridges of traditional paddy rice terraces are critical for plant diversity protection. The author contrasted the flora of terraced rice ridges managed by farmers to the flora of ridges managed by citizens, comprising rice terrace owners (membership area) and volunteers, in order to propose a suitable conservation management technique (participant area). The number of plant species per ridge did not differ, but the number of plant species and diversity index per area in the membership and participation areas were higher than in the farmers’ regions. This element is taken into account because diverse mowing by citizens using both machines and traditional sickles creates the same mowing pressure as before mechanisation and contributes to the preservation of traditional ridge vegetation. Furthermore, the quantity of naturalised plants was smaller in the membership and participation areas than in the farmer’s regions. These findings show that non-farmers’ participation in paddy rice terrace ridge management aids in the preservation of plant diversity in traditional paddy rice terraces.

Author(S) Details

Inagaki Hidehiro
Shizuoka University, Fujieda, Japan.

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