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Ecosystem Services of Traditional Village Groves in Korea...
 Price US$20
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Author name Do Won Lee & others
 Publication Date 2007.12.30
 Language Korean
 Format paperback
 Pages 168 pages
 ISBN 978-89-521-0828-9 (93530)
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The primary objective of this study is to broaden an understanding of Korean traditional village groves by analyzing their ecological values with scientific research tools. The outcomes of this research, which identify ecological knowledge embedded in the village groves, could help restore degraded or destroyed village groves and contribute to communication between experts who are working in relevant disciplines.
The contents of this study include discussions on the definition, types, patterns of distribution, and ecosystem services of traditional village groves. First, relevant concepts and publicized data are addressed, based on documents, old maps, and field excursions of remnant village groves. These will stimulate scientists and practitioners to conduct further studies toward deriving more integrative perspectives on Korea s unique landscape element. After potential ecosystem services of village groves are proposed at a hypothetical level, related areas are identified from data collected on meteorology, vascular plants, insects, and birds at a local village grove for ten to twelve months. Additional tales and data that are too extensive and inconsistent with the texts of Korea version are put in boxes and appendices. The discussions are summarized as follows.
A grove that is cooperatively owned, managed, or protected by villagers, or becomes part of village landscape, is called a village grove. By definition, village groves were classified into traditional and nontraditional ones in this study. The traditional village groves are those that have historical and cultural properties, of which those that people managed to acquire timber, firewood, and green manure sources were excluded. The traditional village groves to which we have paid special attention in this study are very unique in Korea and were usually nurtured at the mouth of a village watershed, and sometimes on low part of mountain range in a way that those were enclosing the village. Similar groves were usually placed along streams and streets and at the valley of mountain to cover ugly rocks. The groves were composed of a limited number of tree species along with little undergrowths. On the other hand, shrubs and herbs were grown in many abandoned village groves as many young residents left their villages during the past several decades. Even though some people said that traditional village groves were characterized by no undergrowth, this no longer holds true. Hence, our discussion regarding the definition and characteristics of (traditional) village groves needs to be refined with consideration of more extensive data in the future.
Some ecosystem services were identified by investigating a traditional village grove which lies at Songmalri Baeksamyun Ichungoon Kyunggido. The grove was nurtured at the mouth of the village watershed more than 450 years ago and has been well managed by villagers. Air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, wind speed, and wind direction were measured at the site from November 2004 to July 2005. The effects that the grove had on wind and water evaporation in rice paddies near the village were examined with field data and model simulation.
We found that the grove substantially contributes to reducing evaporation water loss from the nearby rice paddies and increasing air moisture over the village as the grove reduces the speed of strong, predominantly southerly mountain and valley wind which prevailed over the study site (stronger during the day than at night, especially in Spring) by 30 percent on average, ranging from 26 to 58 percent.
Although part of the grove ground was intensively exploited by visitors, the grove was inhabited by many herbaceous species, indicating that it enhances spatial heterogeneity and plant species diversity at the scale of the village landscape. On the other hand, the hypothesis that the grove functions as a corridor to link the mountain range at either side for insects was not properly tested. Regretfully, the experimental design was not good, and/or the function may be disturbed by intensive human visits and application of insecticides and fertilizers in nearby croplands. Twenty-two species of birds that feed on insects, spiders, earth worms, frogs, aquatic invertebrates, small birds and mammals, seeds of wild and agricultural plants were observed. As the birds get rid of harmful insects and sustain food webs among predators, insects and plants, they contribute to the balance of agricultural ecosystems.
Interactions of taxa in landscape elements were not addressed as it is too complicated to conclude with a limited data set collected by short-term observations. Long-term research on locomotive animals and geographic factors such as topography, climate, and distribution of soil moisture is needed to understand the relationship of diverse organisms. Such research outcomes help us understand mechanisms by which biodiversity of agricultural landscape is maintained.
Although general conclusions are not possible with data acquired from the limited number of groves we visited and observed, the findings on ecosystem services of Korean traditional village groves are of significance. Provision services were not embedded in the unique type of traditional groves except for the other type of village groves, called Songgyesoop, which are mainly managed for collecting timber, firewood, and green manure resources. Although support services such as pollination, soil formation and others are included in village groves, these were not explored in the current study. Regulation services of traditional village groves, such as changes in wind speed and reduction of evaporation in adjacent rice paddies, were identified. Cultural services are a major consideration in traditional village groves, but the services have been dwindled as young people have left their hometown and village groves remain unattended.
In conclusion, traditional village groves have provided a variety of ecological and cultural benefits for people. However, village groves have been degraded and destroyed during the past several decades, not recognizing their real value. In some cases, original structures were transformed in an undesirable manner as people dared to manage the resources without a proper understanding of ecological functions. Under the circumstances, we present substantial data of ecosystem services that village groves have conferred upon us. Nevertheless, we have to confess that our data are very restrictive due to shortage of research resources such as time, finance, and manpower.
 
Chan-Ryul Park



Ecosystem Services of Traditional Village Groves in Korea
(Seoul National University Press, 2007.12.30) Except numbers
Do Won Lee



Ecosystem Services of Traditional Village Groves in Korea
(Seoul National University Press, 2007.12.30) Except numbers
Insu Koh



Ecosystem Services of Traditional Village Groves in Korea
(Seoul National University Press, 2007.12.30) Except numbers
 
 
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