Location, Topography,
and Vegetation

The Niigata University Forest (NUF) is located on the northern part of Ohsado Mountains (northern mountain range, ca. 1000 m a.s.l.) in Sado Island (855 km2). The Island is 50 km far from Niigata City and it takes 150 minutes by car ferry or 67 minutes by fast boat. The island has been long isolated from the main Honshu Island (ca. 3 million years), and some endemic species are distributed (see below). There are various types of forest vegetation, and two major types are distributed widely: one is cool-temperate deciduous broadleaved forest in Ohsado Mountains, and another is warm-temperate forest mainly found in Kosado Mountains (southern mountain range, ca. 500 m a.s.l). The vegetation feature reflects that climates differ locally even within the small island due to the effects of two ocean currents: warm (called Tushima) and cold (Chishima) currents just meet around the island. Also, strong wind from the continent and heavy snowfall in high elevations of Ohsado Mountains affect development of unique vegetation types, e.g., natural forest of Japanese cedar with the other many snow-tolerant tree species.


Faculty of Agriculture of Niigata University has two stations on the island. One is NUF (500 ha) located on Osado Mountains. NUF was found on 1955 and it has been used mainly for research and education of forestry and forest science. NUF has been noted for huge, long-lived conifer timbers (Cryptmeria japonica), two endemic mammals (Lepus brachyurus lyoni and Sorex sadonis), an endemic beetle (Damaster blaptoides capito), and many endangered perennial flowers. Four investigators and seven technical staffs are engaged in the station (in 2022).

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Site policy and activities

The aim of NUF is to conduct field research on the ecology of plant and animal species, their interactions, and ecosystem processes in the island. NUF also offer various opportunities of field training and education for students and general public.
As a member of JERN-JaLTER, NUF has been conducted long-term study of community dynamics of Cryptmeria japonica forest, climate monitoring and hydrologic studies. Study themes are mainly on the relationships between disturbances (or environmental stresses) and forest regeneration because the ecosystem of NUF is heavily affected by the strong wind and heavy snow in winter.