ECOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF MASONRY REVETMENTS IN PLANT BIODIVERSITY
Keywords:Biodiversity, Natural stone, Retaining wall, Vegetation, Terraced field
The objective of this research is to evaluate the importance of vegetation of retaining walls
made of natural stones (i.e., masonry revetment) in plant biodiversity. In this paper, plant compositions and
the characteristics of masonry revetments were surveyed in terraced fields in Toho Village, southern Japan.
In total, 43 families and 88 species were recorded in the spaces of the masonry revetments. Of these 88
species, 68 (77.3%) were herbaceous, excluding 13 (14.8%) ferns, and 7 (8.0%) species were woody plants.
Native species accounted for 69 (78.4%) of the 88 species. Furthermore, numerous species not found in the
horizontal environments around the terraced fields were also seen in the spaces of the masonry revetments.
From these results, the authors consider that masonry revetments provide a habitat for plants and therefore
contribute toward the conservation of plant biodiversity on a local scale.